Greenwood in 1889 - Page 2

Greenwood in 1889

Messrs. Giles L. Wilson and R.B. Wilson of Gastonia, N.C., graduates of Wofford and of Erskine, respectively, began last year the Greenwood Male High School. They are both young men of talent and energy and are founding a school which will honor them and the town. The school is receiving patronage from Abbeville and neighboring counties and bids fair to be one of the best high schools in this part of the State.

The Misses Giles have under their charges a very flourishing female school located at Greenwood. Their school has been in successful operation for some years past and it is yet on the gain. The Misses Giles are highly accomplished ladies and are devoted to their profession. The female school is one of Greenwood’s most prized institutions and is very generously patronized.

Since last May the Presbyterian Company, formerly of Due West, has been located here. They publish the Associate Reformed Presbyterian, the official organ of the church of that name, the Little Banner, and the Greenwood Times, and have very successfully conducted a general publishing business. The Associate Reformed Presbyterian and Little Banner have been bought by a company at Due West and will be published at that place after June 1, 1880. The Times will not be published longer by its present owners, but it is probable that others will continue to do so.

Messrs. Mays & Weeks, contractors, are making large quantities of brick from clay, of which there is abundance in the vicinity of the town. The brick made have been pronounced to be of superior quality, and the industry is growing.

There are only three churches in Greenwood, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist. This is due to the youth of the town and not sufficient time for other denominations to occupy the field. Each church has a large number of members, and services are always well attended. It will not be long before other denominations will come in, as the members of other churches are rapidly increasing in numbers.

While Greenwood is a remarkably healthy town, free from malaria and on a high ridge, with a climate strikingly like Aiken, there are a number of physicians here, most of whom, however, have other sources of livelihood besides their profession. The doctors are: J.C. Maxwell, G.P. Neel, S.L. Swygert, W.L. Hood, M.C. Taggart, J.B. Huey, and B.W. Cobb. This is the only profession in Greenwood that can lay claim to being crowded.

For the size of Greenwood there are very few lawyers, due no doubt to its not being a county seat. The lawyers are W.K. Blake, who is also a trial justice, E.S.E Giles, and F.H. McMaster.

Dr. M.A. Bailey is the only dentist. He is a rising young practitioner, who is thoroughly master of his art.

Every traveler in the State has stopped at Riley’s Hotel, which has made for itself the same reputation that was once given to the dinner house located here. Mr. J.F. Riley is the genial proprietor of the hotel and he has done as much as any other man in Greenwood to make the town what it is. He keeps a fine hotel and it is a famous “lay over” for commercial travelers. There are a large number of boarding houses in the town where the accommodations are good and the rates very cheap.

Greenwood Square, East Side

The merchants of Greenwood are doing a fine business, both wholesale and retail, and their thrift and enterprise would do justice to a place of much more note. As will be seen, the merchants are all young and have not been in business long. Prominent in every business enterprise and in all things to advance the interests of Greenwood are the Dursts, J.K. and W.L., two brothers from Edgefield, who began business here in September 1884. The firm is known as J.K. Durst & Co. and is composed of J.K. Durst, W.L. Durst, and S.P. Matthews, three as fine business men as one often meets. They have two large stores in Greenwood and do a wholesale and retail trade in groceries, dry goods, clothing, notions, and millinery. Their territory is not confined to Abbeville, but extends into neighboring counties. For the fiscal year ending July 31, 1889, this firm did business of $142,321.28.

The firm of Bailey, Barksdale & Co., composed of G.A. Barksdale and Joel S. Bailey, is one of the oldest and most substantial in Greenwood. They began business in 1875 and have since that time done a very large business. They have two stores and do a wholesale and retail business in groceries and general merchandise. They have a well-established trade and are widely known for their fine business qualifications.

Mr. JW. Duckett began business in October 1888 and named his store the New York Store. He deals in dry goods, shoes, and notions, and there is no more thriving business in the town than his. A young man, quiet in demeanor, he has established a growing trade of which he may be proud. His sales during the year of 1889 so far have averaged $5,000 a month.

Mr. A. Rosenberg is a young man who began business in Greenwood in the fall of 1888. He is doing a large business and his store is continually filled with customers. He carries a $35,000 stock of dry goods and since his coming to Greenwood has made much money. His business is increasing daily and Mr. Rosenberg is happy that his lot fell in Greenwood.

Jervey & Co. is composed of Eugene P. Jervey, Lewis S. Jervey, and Robert S. Sparkman. The first two named are well-known merchants of Charleston, and Mr. Sparkman is the manager here. They are dealers in farmers’ supplies, cotton, and rice. The firm is doing a thriving business in supplies and is the wholesale dealer in rice for the up-country, besides handling much cotton every season.

Messrs. A. St. Clair Lee and W.R. Bailey deal in drugs, paints, and oils and in the summer time wholesale and retail ice to the trade in this section. They own one of the few granite-front buildings in this part of the State and are doing a prosperous business. They commenced business in 1884.

F.F. Dunbar & Co. is composed of F.F. Dunbar and Idis Brabham, both of Hattieville, Barnwell County. They commenced business here this fall and are well pleased with their success so far and with the prospects ahead. They deal in general merchandise.

Greenwood boasts of the finest carriage emporium in the State outside of Charleston. It is owned by J.T. Simmons, who began business here in January 1883. The repository is a two-story brick building 30 by 120 feet and most carefully constructed. Mr. Simmons has on hand always a stock of vehicles that fills both floors of his repository and a large ware house besides. He has a branch establishment at Lowndesville and at Mount Carmel.

Other business houses include Blythe & Wells, furniture dealers and undertakers; J.C. Sproles, stoves, tinware, and roofing; Calhoun Bros., groceries; D.C. Du Pre, drugs, paints, oils, and stationery; Lee & Hodges, insurance and fertilizers; WC. Strawhorne, general merchandise; J.C. Nichels, confectionery and general merchandise; J.T. Youngblood, general merchandise; J.W. Greene & Co., general merchandise; A. McD. Singleton, fancy groceries; BW. Cobb, drugs; P.B. Reynolds, general merchandise; J.S. Cummings, groceries and building materials; Hartzog & Hays, livestock, horses, and mules; and D.J. Raborn, general merchandise.

Thus, as briefly as possible, is given an account of what is to be found at Greenwood, which is undoubtedly one of the most progressive towns in South Carolina. Besides the enterprises set forth are some of minor importance. There are two building and loan associations, through whose workings a number of the homes in the town have been built. They are still in successful operation.

With a fair soil and unexcelled climate, Greenwood, with her railroad facilities and the other enterprises that are to be found in the town, bids fair to be a city at no very distant day. It offers many advantages to young men and capitalists. There is no place in the State where an artisan has better opportunities for success. Its people are hospitable and progressive. It extends a welcome to all who may come to it.


Charleston News and Courier, December 26, 1889.


Reprinted with permission of Sandlapper Publishing


Greenwood in 1889 Article

Great article! I am not a native Greenwoodian, having relocated here in 1978. This explains why Greenwood developed over Abbeville and Ninety Six which were established areas much earlier.

Great find! Love reading this

Great find! Love reading this and seeing all the old family names. You have to wonder if they are the same families. You can almost map out Greenwood roads with these names. Millwee, Reynolds, Durst, Bailey, Calhoun, Maxwell...

Thank you for this most

Thank you for this most informative article. I look forward to reading more. Perhaps you will research the SALAK Railroad history as well. Once again, thank you.