“Mount Holly and the Santuc area of York County….”
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Yorkville Enquirer, Wednesday, December 17, 1862 – Salt: A Solution
J. N. McElwee, Jr., a member of the legislature from Taylor’s Creek, York District, published a letter in the South Carolinian dated December 8, 1862. He was presenting his case to the people of SC and to the legislature on the issue of salt. He went to the Saline Works in Virginia, talked with officials of Stuart, Buchannan & Co., and obtained an agreement to sell SC $140,000 in salt at $2.75 per bushel. He informed the governor and council of the arrangement, “and received from them an evasive answer, which dethroned the whole of my sanguine hopes.” He went back to the works “and have now on the way one car load of salt for the good people of York on my own hook.” He obtained an agreement to have SC receive salt at the same rates as other states.
The Herald reported on May 27 and June 3, 1896 – “A Presbyterian Church was organized at McElwee’s School House. The present location of the church is a beautiful knoll about six miles South of Rock Hill and very near the home of Mr. J.L. McElwee. (He lived across from Mt. Holly Methodist Church)
INDEX OF NAMES ON MAPS
Country Club Map: Allen, Thomas 86 Black, Alexander T. 448 Drennan, Harvey 186 Ellis, Mary 108 Henry, Jane 149 McClelland, Robert 270 McCoy, John 377 McNair, Jane 278 McNair, Jane 185 Miller, Abraham 1032 Miller, James 854 Moore, James 245 Neely, Cynthia 879 Pride, F.L.J. 897 Robinson, Allen 318 Spencer, Jesse 330 Steele, Joseph 453 Steele, Newton A. 209 Strait, Christopher 146 Sturgis, Daniel 1262 Wherry, William 127 White, George 186 Workman, James S. 740 Workman, Robert
This map may be viewed in its entirety by clicking on HOME to return to the SCDOT index page.
The Herald reported on Dec. 16, 1896 – “The School at McElwee Academy, under Ms. Mary Lee Hardin of Chester, is flourishing….”
LETTER FROM ROCK HILL, May 1, 1876 (We wish we knew the name of the talented writer who called himself “Lux” in his weekly correspondence printed in the Yorkville Enquirer.)
Nothing has transpired during the past week to startle or astonish the people of this place or the surrounding country. The town has been remarkably quiet. Only a few wagons, loaded with cotton, came in. some sixty bales were sold at the average of 11 1/2 cents————————————- I am credibly informed that long years before the late war, the lands known as the “Santuc lands’ were bought and sold for fifty cents per acre, owning, principally to the fact that but very little cotton could be grown upon them. But since the introduction of the different kinds of fertilizers now in use, so well adapted to the peculiar quality of this land, the yield has been wonderfully increased, and the staple seems vastly improved.46 Consequently, the lands being thus enhanced in value, they rank, in market price, with other lands around; and now it would be a gross insult for any one to offer an old, original Santuckian the former price his lands would have sold for. … Nothing is said about going to the Centennial….
(Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine)
GRIST VISITS MOUNT HOLLY & SANTUC
(The following is taken from A. M. Grist’s weekly column, “Just A-Rolling Along the Way,” published in the Yorkville Enquirer, Nov 3, 1931. J. Alex Williford was his guide.)
I turned eastward [from York] on highway No. 5, headed for Rock Hill, where I was to meet my friend, Mr. J. Alex Williford and enjoy his company on a trip down into the Mount Holly-Santuc section of the county—a trip that lies south of Rock Hill between the Saluda Road (to Chester) and No. 5 that runs down to Lesslie and Catawba Junction _______
Reaching Mr. Williford’s home, No. 503 East Main street, Rock Hill… I paid my respects to Mr. and Mrs. Williford, and their daughter, Mrs. Robert Fewell, and we were ready to go_________
Down East Main to Saluda street we turned south and Mr. Williford began making it interesting right from the start. When we reached the junction of Saluda and Marion Streets, he told me that point years ago was called “Brandy Station.” I wondered why the odd name and then he explained. In the long ago when Rock Hill was a small village of the spread-eagle variety as most towns were some fifty years ago, this point sported a barroom, and it was the first saloon to be reached by the folks who lived down Santuc way coming into Rock Hill and there they would stop for their first drink before going up to the business center of the village. In the outward journey these same early citizens visiting the “Good Town” would stop at the Brandy Station, and take another drink over the bar and then purchase a quart to drink along the way as they rode with convivial spirits toward home. Incidentally, Mr. Williford said that the next spot to take a swig
from the bottle was at Taylor’s creek _____
Down the road a half a mile or more and we came to the place where Ed Marshall is establishing a tourist camp—building a number of brick veneered bungalows to be fitted up in first-class shape with electric lights, running water and modern conveniences for the use of tourists traveling that way from north to south or south to north as the case may be ________
Then on past the farm of the late John T. Roddey, a man who will be remembered as one of the foremost citizens of Rock Hill. To the right lies the landing field for airplanes in which he set much store, and really I hope it will be fully developed as a continuous monument to the man who created it both as a fad and as a means of the helping the Good Town to stay on the map.
Remember this is on the Saluda road. You perhaps imagine that the hard road you pass over as you travel towards Chester is the same Saluda road that your grandfathers and great grandfathers may have passed over. Well, it isn’t. Years ago the Saluda road came into Rock Hill from out close to what is now known as Steele’s Crossing. But the changing of the location of the Saluda road to its present right of way has a story of its own. Many years ago Mr. Alex Williford—no, not the Mr. Williford who was guiding me, decided that the Saluda road should come into Rock Hill by a more direct route and further decided to change that location pronto. He issued a call for volunteer workers to make the change and, so the story goes, he sent out word that he would furnish the volunteer works who came to assist him in cutting the new right of way, with seven gallons of liquor. On the morning of the day set apart for the job of cutting a right of way over a distance of three miles there were 500 workers on the job and the new road was cut in one day and the workers got the liquor, it being distributed by a specially appointed committee of one, who passed it around in a tin cup to the workers.
On we went and before very long turned left from the Saluda road into what for many years was known as the Landsford road. … It is a top-soiled road and it is a typical example of what top soiled roads are elsewhere in the county. It is all “ridgy” an corduroy-ed and makes a nice bumpy ride “That is the old Jimmie Oates place,” remarked Mr. Williford as we came in sight of a nice looking home on the right of the road that looked as if it had been a farm settlement for half a century or more. Jimmie Oates, if you do not know, was the father of T. Monroe Oates of the Tirzah community and also the Rev. J. L. Oates, D. D., formerly of Hickory Grove, Smyrna and later of Yorkville, and now pastor of a church at Bartow, Fla. Mr. Jimmie Oates moved down into that section in the early eighties from Gaston county [NC].
Across the road not so very far away, Ike Oates, a cousin, moved into what was known as the Allen Robinson place—that also was in the early eighties. The Robinson place dates back to the Civil War days and according to Mr. Williford, just after the war was a center of attraction for many of the imbibers of the day who went there to get “government brandy,” whether it was Confederate State government brandy or whether it was United States brandy________
Ever hear of the “Waters Hill”? I can remember hearing of it years ago. It had a reputation all its own forty years and more ago. It is said that a horse hitched to a buggy would sometimes stall going down hill. It is a right smart of a hill down and coming up but it must have been a prize piece of road previous to about 1900. Taylor’s creek is at the bottom of the hill either way you approach it. T. Gibson Culp, county commissioner in the early nineties, built a bridge across Taylor’s creek in 1891. It was then about the longest bridge in that section of York county and perhaps in the county, the bottom is low and wide. Previous to the building of the road travelers were often held up there on account of high water in the creek————-
Passing across the creek and on up the hill we passed by the old Eddie Waters place. He was the father of the late William J. and John J. Waters. . . . W. J. Waters was once county auditor for York county…. John Waters was a lawyer, practiced in Rock Hill and served at least one term in the legislature as a representative from York county.
… Mr. Williford pointed out the old homestead of Jonathan McElwee. … Mr. McElwee was a very prolific writer on political subjects and enjoyed joining in political controversies and would on the slightest provocation. He was a Greenbacker in politics and wanted everyone to know it Mr. McElwee. . . operated one of the only two stores in all that section at that time, the other one being at Coates Tavern, now Roddey’s Station. Presently we passed by Mitchell’s store close by Mount Holly M. E. church. Mr. Mitchell has quite a store there _____
Up to the left of the road just here is the Mount Holly school. Years ago Shiloh church stood on the property. Shiloh was an interdenominational church and the land it stood on, about four acres, was given to the church by Jonathan McElwee and Samuel Gray Westbrook. In time the number of adherents of the faith increased to such a point in that section that they decided they would build a church for themselves and this they did on grounds across the road some two or three hundred yards away, the land being donated by Jimmy Henkel, a citizen of the neighborhood. Mr. Williford said that he was of the impression that Mr. Henkel’s wife was the first person buried in the Mount Holly cemetery. (Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine)
GRIST GOES DOWN THE OLD LANDSFORD ROAD
(The editor of the Yorkville Enquirer, A. M. Grist, liked to get out into the county and visit with folks and then write it up in a column he called “Just A-Rolling Along.” Here is the second half of the one he wrote on November 3, 1931.)
Mr. [J. Alex.] Williford pointed out the old homestead of Jonathan McElwee. . . . Mr. McElwee was a very prolific writer on political subjects and enjoyed joining in on political controversies and would on the slightest provocation. He was a Greenbacker in politics and wanted the world to know it. This was in the late seventies. If you don’t know, I will just tell you that the Greenback party advocated and favored a larger use of “greenback” currency, a class of legal tender notes first issued by the Federal government during the Civil War and advocated a freer use of silver. I used to hear my father laugh about the chirography of Mr. McElwee’s communications. It was terrible, and it took an expert who knew the man and his writings, by long experience to learn to set his manuscripts into type. However with painstaking care my father deciphered the old gentleman’s communications and generally got them in fine shape. On one occasion Mr. McElwee thought that the printed letter was far different from what he had really written and accused father of doing it deliberately, which of course was not the case. The next time Mr. McElwee sent in a communication it was set in type just as nearly like his copy as it was possible to make it—spelling of words, punctuation, abbreviations, sentences, etc. and when that one appeared Mr. McElwee surely went up in the air. He fairly screamed denial of having written any such communication. Father quietly handed him the original manuscript for comparison with the printed letter and after going through the communication—written and printed—he had no further comments. Mr. McElwee didn’t write much for the papers after that time.
Mr. McElwee, so Mr. Williford said, operated one of the only two stores in all that section at that time, the other one being at Coates Tavern, now Roddey’s Station. Presently we passed by Mitchell’s store close by Mount Holly M. E. church. Mr. Mitchell has quite an establishment there and I wish I had time to have stopped for a short chat with him. Up to the left of the road just here is the Mount Holly school. Years ago Shiloh church stood on the property. Shiloh was an interdenominational church, and the land on which it stood, about four acres, was given to the church by Jonathan McElwee and Samuel Gray Westbrook. In time the number of adherents of the Methodist faith increased to such a point in that section that they decided they would build a church for themselves and this they did on grounds across the road some two or three hundred yards away, the land for the church grounds being donated by Johnny Henkel, a citizen of the neighborhood. Mr. Williford said he was of the impression that Henkel’s wife was the first person buried in the Mount Holly cemetery. (Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine)
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