Presbyterians of the Past

A Year in Greenville, South Carolina, 1893

Several years ago I read John C. Waugh’s The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox, 1994, and then at the time of the Y2K event—the change of millennium from 1999 to 2000 A.D.—I read two historical books making cases for the world situation at the transition from 999 to 1000 A.D. I read very little fiction but that did not stop me from biting off immensely more than I could chew by taking on James Joyce’s Ulysses, which is a lengthy book relating the thoughts of a man during one day of life in Dublin. I could appreciate the author’s skill and detail as he captured life in Dublin, but I did not get through many pages. The common factor in these books is the subjects are limited by time—a year, millennium, and a day. So, I thought it might be interesting to read a city newspaper for one year and see what comes to pass and gather my findings into a list. Provided in this post are my notes from reading The Greenville Mountaineer for the year 1893. Unfortunately, there are gaps in the run for 1893 which means I could not do a complete reading. The notes summarize the items that garnered my interest from church, political, historical, social, and advertising segments. All text from the newspaper issues is provided in quotation marks and brackets [ ] within quotation marks are my comments for clarification. Text without quotes is additional material written by me to provide the background and setting of the newspaper bits. The Mountaineer is available at the Greenville County Library and the header, dated 1905, is from its online collection.

Barry Waugh

January 4—When reading old newspapers it is common to find filler material that is often unrelated to any other subject matter on the news page. In the days of printing with movable type, whether it was set by hand or by linotype, all blank spaces on pages needed to be filled with information, whether relevant or not, to make efficient use of the page. An example of such a brief filler is concerned with the Unites States Postal Service and it provided reassurance that one’s posted item would make it to the addressee.

“It is estimated about twenty letters go astray out of every 1,000,000 sent through the post office.”

In the same issue the geographic growth of the nation was noted. “Speaker Crisp” refers to Democrat Charles Crisp of Georgia who was speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

“The New York World Quotes Speaker Crisp as saying that upon the whole he favors an extra session of Congress if for no other reason than to admit Arizona and New Mexico as States.” Both territories were admitted to statehood in 1912 with New Mexico the 47th and Arizona the 48th states, so Speaker of the House Crisp was not successful adding to Congress’s sessions.

January 18—A brief news article recounted the stockholders’ meeting of a Greenville bank. Bank solvency would be an important issue during 1893. O. P. Mills is mentioned. He was the owner of the mill that has been repurposed on Mills Avenue with the name Lofts at Mills Mill in Greenville.

“The People’s Bank—The annual meeting of the stockholders of the People’s Bank was held on the 10th instant. The condition of the bank was satisfactorily exhibited in the annual report of the President, and the following gentlemen were re-elected as directors to serve the ensuing year: Frank Hammond, F.W. Poe, W.M. Hagood, O.P. Mills, J.A. Hoyt, C.H. Schwing, J.L. Orr, [and] H.F. Means. The directors are to hold a meeting this morning for the purpose of electing officers.”

The automobile was yet to be mass produced, so if one wanted to get about town faster than by walking, the solution was a horse or bicycle. The following provides the text of an advertisement.

“Everybody Wants the Best! Columbias Are the Best! When you buy a Columbia you buy the best machine on the market, a machine that is the result of the best material, the latest invention, the most skilled labor and the finest finish; a machine that carries with it the guarantee of a company whose reputation is peerless. Columbias. New Mails. Black Hawks. Crescents. Junos. And an elegant selection of Ladies’, Boys’, and Girls’ Bicycles. All made of the very best imported, seamless steel tubing, and warranted in every particular. Send for Catalogue. Bates & Ferguson, 52 Main Street, Greenville, S.C.”

Our modern use of drywall to finish building interiors was preceded by the more complex and ancient process of plastering, but some other materials for construction have not changed much since 1893. This text advertises a nineteenth century builders supply store. T.C. Gower had been mayor of Greenville and his daughter Susan was the wife of O.P. Mills. “Lathes” are strips of wood nailed to framing upon which plaster is spread.

“Lathes, Lime, Plastering Hair, and Plaster of Paris, English, German, and American Portland, Hoffman, and Rosendale Cements, Blacksmith and Domestic Coal. T.C. Gower & Son, 104 Washington St. Greenville, S.C.”

January 25—One of the great events of 1893 was the opening of the World’s Columbian Exposition. In an article on page one about 1 1/4 columns in length the grand event is described. The Exposition commemorated the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. It was dedicated Oct. 21, 1892, and scheduled for opening May 1, 1893. Included among the mass of buildings were halls designated Manufacturers, Liberal Arts, Agriculture, Transportation, Horticulture, Machinery, Electricity, Mining, U. S. Government, Women, Children, Forestry, Fisheries, Art Gallery, and Casino Hall, as well as the buildings representing each state. “Casino Hall” was a place for dancing. At the time of the article, the cost of the Exposition was believed to be over 40,000,000.00.

“The Exposition grounds cover an area of nearly 635 acres with a frontage of nearly two miles on Lake Michigan. The buildings will cover more than 100 acres; the eleven main buildings have reached an advanced stage of construction. The total floor space of the Exposition buildings already under way is 6,320,000 square feet, or 155 acres. The largest building is over a mile in circumstances, and its central aisle has a clear span of 368 feet, and is 206 feet in height.”

“The first exhibit to arrive at the Exposition grounds was a section of a big California redwood tree, which the government will show in its building. It measures 30 feet long by 23 feet in diameter. The section is hollowed out, and when placed on end, divided into two stories and lighted, as it will be, it will form a rustic house large enough for a family to live in. Eleven freight cars were required to convey it across the continent.” The tree house mentioned was moved to the National Mall in Washington when the Exposition concluded.

Rutherford B. Hayes was the nineteenth president of the United States, 1877-1881. His death from “rheumatism of the heart” might be diagnosed differently today.

“Ex-President R. B. Hayes, Sudden Death from Rheumatism of the Heart. President Hayes died at his residence in Fremont, Ohio, January 17, 1893, after a very brief illness. He was taken home only a few days before from Cleveland, where he had an attack of rheumatism of the heart. It was the second attack within two weeks, and although his condition was regarded as serious, exciting and alarming the family, the encouragement given them by the family physician led them to hope for a speedy recovery.”

Just as the bicycle would soon wane in popularity for transportation, likewise horse driven vehicles would be replaced by the horseless carriage, the automobile. But until horseless carriages became more commonly available at lower prices, carriages with horses were needed.

Advertisement—“Wanted. One Thousand Men to Buy Our Carriages, Buggies, and Wagons. Made by South Carolina Skill, and of South Carolina Timber. Quality Unequaled. Special Low Prices. Greenville Coach Factory. We Keep Full Line Western Buggies and Carriages. G. W. Sirrine, Superintendent. H. C. Markley, Proprietor.”

February 15—Popular among churches of the era were protracted meetings which included concentrated periods of preaching and evangelism. Sometimes these meetings extended a few days, a week, or even a month. Parachurch tent meetings were common and they could extend weeks or longer. One Greenville church held a short series of meetings on the second floor of the Mills & McBayer Cotton Warehouse at the intersection of Augusta Road and South Main (the floor above what is currently Smoke on the Water).

“The Second Presbyterian Church is carrying on a series of meetings at its place of meeting over the Gates Desk Company’s store. The meetings are held every night and are conducted by the Rev. C. M. Howard, evangelist.”

February 22—Massive construction projects have always been newsworthy and at the end of the nineteenth century new bridges were sometimes the subjects of newspaper articles. The Secretary of War was responsible for selection of the site for a bridge to be built in New Orleans because routes in the United States were not only infrastructure for business and private transportation but also essential for national defense so troops and equipment could be moved rapidly across the nation. In just five years, the Spanish-American War would take place and the ability to move the military would be essential for transport of troops to port cities in the South for access to Cuba. Some of the bridge statistics seem remarkable even by today’s standards.

“The New Orleans Bridge, It Will Be the Longest Steel Structure in the World—The bridge that is to be built across the river above the city is attracting considerable attention throughout the country among engineers and others, because in some respects it will become a famous structure. Engineers in behalf of the bridge company are already here, and it is expected that before the Secretary of War has appointed his own board to select the spot at which the bridge shall be built these representatives of the company will have picked out the most substantial spot for the spanning of the river within the limits of five miles above the city prescribed by the act of congress.…The main channel span is to be 1,000 feet in the clear at low water and the bridge is to be 85 feet above the high-water mark of last year which was the highest high-water mark ever recorded. It is expected that the foundations will penetrate the bed of the river fully 150 feet below low water. That will be necessary to reach sufficiently stable stratum to support the structure. Caissons will be used in building the foundations and piers. The superstructure will be not less than 100 feet in height and probably the entire height of the structure from the base of the foundations to the apex of the superstructure will approximate 350 feet.… [Including the approaches and access to the bridge] the structure will be about 11,000 feet long and the longest steel structure in the world.…The cost, as a result of preliminary surveys and careful calculations, for the bridge, the double track and approaches will be 3,000,000.00.”

In 1892, President Grover Cleveland was elected to serve his second term to become the only president to occupy the White House for non-consecutive terms. The president was the son of Richard F. Cleveland who had been a Presbyterian minister. The president elected to the intervening term was Benjamin Harrison whose home was in Indianapolis where he was a ruling elder in First Presbyterian Church. The following news-advertisement item encouraged the people of Greenville to attend the inauguration.

“Grover Cleveland—For the second time will stand in the portico of the beautiful National Capitol on March 4th, 1893 and be inaugurated President of the United States.…Excursion tickets at the rate of a fare-and-a-third for individuals, and one fare for a party of military, twenty-five or more, will be sold on March 1, 2, 3, for the train to arrive in Washington by noon of March 4. Valid, returning, until March 8th, 1893.…The round trip rate from Greenville to Washington for the inauguration of President Cleveland, on next Saturday week, will be 20.54. for the civilian, and 15.40. apiece for the military, in companies of twenty-five or more men.”

March 1—As the years following the Civil War passed, those who fought were passing away. In 1893 it was twenty-eight years since the war ended when an important Southern general died.

“Death of Gen. Beauregard, He Passes Away Suddenly in New Orleans. Commander at Fort Sumter and Manassas—He Participated in The Closing Scenes. The death of General P. G. T. Beauregard, the last save one of the Confederate military leaders who attained the full rank of General, took place in the city of New Orleans on the night of Feb. 20th. His end was peaceful and painless, and although he had been threatened seriously with disease, the last hours of his life were spent in chatting pleasantly with family and friends, and only a few moments before his death he went to bed apparently on the road to recovery.”

I have read numerous memorials and obituaries and it is amazing how often the deceased were reported to have been “doing better,” “resurging to health,” or “able to sit up and brighten” only to pass away within hours or a few days.

As Greenville grew, so its churches increased in number. Third Presbyterian Church was established in 1893.

“The Third Presbyterian Church–The organization of the Third Presbyterian Church of Greenville was perfected on last Sunday [Feb. 26th]. The Enoree Presbytery met on Saturday and having decided favorably upon the question of organizing the new church appointed a commission, composed of Rev. T.M. McConnell, Rev. N.J. Holmes and Rev. J.W. Query, and Elders R.E. Allen and J.A. Russell to perfect the organization. The church is the outgrowth of a mission on West Street, and was organized with thirty-three members from the Washington Street Church [First Presbyterian], and eight new members. Nine others have since been added, making a membership of fifty, with Rev. R.E. Henderlite, as pastor, who will give them half of his time.…The following officers of the new church were elected: Elders—W.A. Hudson, Dr. J.R. Wilkinson, W.H. Stewart, E.Y. Hillhouse. Deacons—W.A. Hudson, Jr., C.A. Cooper, James Goldsmith.”

March 15—The next article is a summary of President Cleveland’s inaugural speech. Since his day, the date of inauguration has been moved up to the current January 20. (I may have recorded the date of the newspaper issue incorrectly because the date he was sworn in was March 4, so the newspaper date may be March 5.)

“The Inaugural Address–President Cleveland Outlines the Policy of his Administration.” In summary, President Cleveland opened his address calling for the vigilance of the American people. His items of concern included: a sound and stable currency; ending paternalism as seen in appointments to office based on political favoritism instead of making appointments solely on the basis of qualifications; tariff reform to have a more just and equitable taxation system for Americans; and “equality before the law” of all Americans. President Cleveland concluded his address promising to do his best to accomplish the platform he presented, but he also mentioned it was necessary for the other areas of government to cooperate.

May 3–The World’s Columbian Exposition opened.

“World’s Fair Opening. President Cleveland Starts the Machinery in the Presence of an Immense Audience. The opening of the World’s Fair took place on Monday, May 1st, and the demonstration was in keeping with the imposing array of exhibits from all over the civilized world.” The crowd was estimated to exceed 150,000. The invocation was given by Dr. W.H. Milburn, the blind chaplain of the United States Senate. Following a program of entertainment and addresses, President Cleveland gave a speech. The fair began when President Cleveland pressed a button that set all the machinery in motion including the great Corliss engine in Machinery Hall. Canons fired repeatedly, the fountains flowed with water, and the orchestra played to the shouts of the great crowd.

As has been seen thus far in 1893, church news was not only for the churched but also the unchurched readers of The Greenville Mountaineer. In the following notice a meeting of Enoree Presbytery of the PCUS is reported. Note that the presbytery meeting extended as long as the deliberative sessions of some Presbyterian general assemblies today.

“Spring Meeting of Presbytery–Enoree Presbytery met in Laurens from Tuesday to Friday of the previous week [April 26-29]. At this meeting, the elders elected its first ever Ruling Elder as moderator, who was Col. Thomas J. Moore of Moore’s Station. Rev. Dr. Wm. Plumer Jacobs served as the clerk. The meetings were held in the new Presbyterian Church building, which was used for the first time on the opening night of the sessions. At this meeting, the organization of Third Presbyterian Church was reported. Rev. Ferdinand Jacobs, Jr., was ordained an evangelist, and B. Anderson of Laurens was licensed to preach. A called meeting was scheduled for June 29 at Greenville for the purpose of examining and ordaining Mr. Waddy H. Hudson, who would graduate Princeton Seminary that spring.”

May 10—As transportation continued to improve the electric streetcar was taking the nation by storm, but it would not roll in Greenville until 1901 when one of its operators would be Wesley F. Martin.

“The electric street cars began operation in Columbia last week, the first in South Carolina.”

May 24—The eighteen nineties were a time when woman suffrage—women having the right to vote—was a growing and polarizing topic of debate. An answer to the voting question was provided by one prominent woman who was concerned about the issue. Women would not be able to vote until the presidency of Woodrow Wilson.

“Should Woman Vote? Miss V. Stuart Mosby, of Warrenton Va., daughter of the celebrated General Mosby, recently wrote to Mrs. Jefferson [Varina] Davis for her opinion on the question of woman suffrage….”

Mrs. Davis preferred “privileges to rights” and she wondered how the introduction of political differences between husband and wife might bring discord in the household. She added that it is the duty of the mother to teach her children the Constitution and her influence in politics might best be served in that way. She believed that teaching the Constitution should occupy the time she might expend in partisan politics if she had the vote. A common complaint among the suffragists was that women held property but could not vote. Mrs. Davis believed that if women property holders wanted the right to vote, then they too should take the responsibilities the voting man bore. However, she also said that she had not “reached a satisfactory conclusion regarding women voting based on property ownership.…These are the individual opinions of an old-fashioned woman and are to be taken for what they are worth.”

June 7—In the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. an issue of great significance was the teaching of Charles Augustus Briggs at Union Theological Seminary in New York. The views in question involved inerrancy of the Bible, Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, an intermediate state after death, as well as other topics. The Presbyterian Church, U.S., primarily in the South, had previously challenged James Woodrow with respect to his views regarding science and evolution. An article on the suspension of C. A. Briggs from Union Seminary was given in this issue of The Greenville Mountaineer.

June 14—Due to persecution, the Waldensians had dispersed in the seventeenth century from France to Italy. Then, after further persecution, they ended up in Switzerland between Italy and France. In 1893, they were looking for peace and freedom in the United States.

“A colony of Waldenses has just settled in Burke County, N.C. They have bought 12,000 acres of land, through which the Piedmont Air-Line runs. The railroad gave them free transportation. The people of that section have built for them a sawmill and several houses and they have planted good crops. The new settlers have gone to work and say they feel a great interest in their new home. During the winter other large parties will come and it is the belief that in two years ten thousand will settle. Factories are to be established. The Waldenses named the town they have founded Valdese.”  The plan did not work out as hoped. The Waldenses could not master the use of the sawmill and the plan was rescinded. However, Valdese was incorporated. There is currently a living history display of buildings in Valdese called Trail of Faith, which includes reproductions of some of the significant structures of Waldensian history.

June 21—Currently, we hear about scams, con-artists, and false news, but the following story is disturbingly noteworthy and may have a message for those currently contemplating marriage.

“Engaged to Forty Men. Remarkable Accomplishment of a Clever Female Swindler.” This woman who went by the names of Miss Waters or Miss Jennie E. Rivers was arrested in Albany, New York, at her residence based on a complaint by a Mr. Fix who had been swindled by the woman. Her modus operandi was simple. She would answer personals in singles newspapers, establish a heated romantic correspondence, the man would propose, she would accept, but first she needed travel money. When the money was received, she would terminate the correspondence.” The Postal Service had 40 complaints against her and she was to be prosecuted for fraudulent use of the mail service.

July 5—The nation recognizes the name “Clemson” primarily because of its stellar football team, but the university has its roots, as do many major universities today, in agricultural education (no pun intended).

“Clemson’s Opening. The State has this to say in regard to the opening of Clemson College this week. Although there has been much trouble and delay in getting this institution ready to begin the education of the boys and young men who are farmers’ sons, the trustees have overcome all the obstacles and the college will be ready to receive its 450 students on Wednesday which is the day appointed for the opening. Persons who have recently paid a visit to the institution say that the buildings are as fine as those possessed by any college of the kind in the country. Almost all the work on them has been completed and judging from the photographs taken last week of the college buildings and grounds, they make a handsome show….The State had to provide the buildings, and that was what gave the trouble. The future should be plain sailing as far as funds are concerned.”

July 19—Infrastructure problems are nothing new, whether at the national or local level. A reporter cleverly tells about a problem in Greenville.

“The foot bridge on Westfield Street across Reedy River is becoming somewhat devout in its tendency. Its knees seem to be in need of some braces, so as to bring both sides up to a level.” That is, the structure of the bridge is failing and needs to be reinforced.

August 2—Returning to the World’s Columbian Exposition, another great piece of engineering was not only on display in its halls but available for rides.

“The Ferris Wheel—This colossal wheel is undoubtedly the crowning engineering feature of the World’s Fair. The diameter of the wheel is 270 feet and the circumference 825 feet, the entire machine being raised 15 feet above the ground. The highest point is 275 feet above the surface of the earth. The axle on which the great wheel turns is a steel bar 45 feet long and 32 inches in diameter. Fastened to each of the twin wheels is a steel hub 16 feet in diameter. There are 36 cars on the wheel, each capable of comfortably seating 40 people. The cars are 27 feet long, 13 feet wide, and 9 feet high, and each one weights 13 tons. The wheel, with its passengers, weighs 1,200 tons. The whole thing rests on two pyramidal towers at the axis. The towers are 140 feet high, 40 by 50 feet at the base, and six feet square at the top. Each tower has four feet, resting on 20-foot cube concrete foundations. Underneath these are crossbars of steel. The motive power comes from a 1,000 horsepower steam engine under the wheel. Philadelphia Ledger.”

August 9—Buried treasure was unearthed and it is not clear to me precisely where it was found. Was the reporter hoping on going to the spot and expanding the search for his own gain, or maybe keeping it a secret for his source?

“Buried Treasure Found. A Pile of Old Gold Coins Unearthed in Spartanburg County.” A man returned to Spartanburg from his stay in his summer home in Landrum on the Asheville and Spartanburg Road, near the state line. He told the story of a remarkable find of buried treasure by a farmer. The treasure is all gold coins from foreign countries and the dates range from 1719 to 1792. “One coin had the inscription on one side, ‘Philip V, by the Grace of God, King of Spain and India.’ On the reverse side is ‘The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.’ Another coin has ‘Louis XV, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre, 1779,’ and on the obverse is written ‘Christ reigns, conquers and rules.’”

August 16—Where would Greenville be without its industry? One local industry was involved in manufacturing equipment for the greatest land transportation industry of its era. The Mountaineer continued its coverage of the World’s Columbian Exposition.

“The first electric locomotive of any considerable size in the United States and the first practically operative high speed electric locomotive in the world, adapted to the steam railroad, has recently been completed at the Lynn Works of the General Electric Company, and will shortly be exhibited at the World’s Fair.”

Young Clemson College suffered a terrible accident on its campus, but it appears, fortunately, no one was killed. The students were “drilling” because they were members of what came to be called in 1916 the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC).

“Accident at Clemson. President Craighead’s Statement of the Unfortunate Affair. A fearful accident occurred at Clemson College on Friday afternoon, 11th instant. The students were all out on the grounds drilling when a sudden rain came up and the companies were dismissed in order to get to their rooms. As soon as they were dismissed, they began with a rush for the dormitory. When only a few had entered the building, they shut the door and the boys behind all pressed upon a platform which leads to the second story. There were about 200 boys scrambling against the door. The platform could not stand the weight of so many and went crashing to the earth. The platform is forty feet long and about fifteen feet high, and this with the large number of boys all went down in a pile. As soon as the excitement was somewhat over, the boys who were not in the fall, began to rescue the suffering ones. Broken legs, arms, ankles, heads and every other part of some of the boys were discovered. Litters were soon made, and the injured ones sent to the hospital.…The flooring gave way, and the brick constructed pillars gave way, and hence the whole passage crowded with boys were tumbling down.”

August 23—Money is always in the news in one way or another, but in the era of President Cleveland the money issue was whether the nation should have a gold or silver-based economy or a dual standard using both.

“The Money Question. Silvery Talk in Congress—Battle of the Giants—What Representatives and Senators Say on the Matter.” A speech of over two hours length was made by the Democrat U. S. Representative from Nebraska, William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925; in the House, 1891-1895) promoted the free coinage of silver against Democrat President Cleveland’s support of the Gold Standard. Bryan argued that the gold standard benefitted the rich, and he thought the use of two metals at a ratio of 16 ounces silver to one ounce of gold would benefit the common man. Bryan thought the current depression (see the note regarding the depression of 1893 that follows this entry) was a result of lack of confidence in the banks and was not due to the dual use of silver and gold. The type of hard money standard used was a particularly hot issue due to the recession of 1893. Bryan would go on to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency in 1896 and 1900, but the Republican McKinley would win both. Then Bryan ran again for the White House in 1908, but Teddy Roosevelt won for a full term after having served out McKinley’s term. From 1913-1915 Bryan was Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State. During McKinley administration the Currency Act of 1900 consolidated the gold-standard.

A Note Regarding the Depression of 1893

From, Henry F. Graff, Grover Cleveland, American Presidents Series, 2002, p. 114.

“As Cleveland’s new term opened, hard times—the depression of 1893—struck the country. Thousands of businesses failed, farm prices fell, and it was estimated that a fifth of all factory workers lost their jobs. Some Democrats blamed the Republicans, indicting especially the McKinley tariff, pointing out that it had rendered imports too expensive and produced a decline in customs revenue.”

“Cleveland believed that prosperity could be restored only if Americans once more had confidence in the backing of their paper money. He felt sure that their faith in the nation’s currency had been shaken by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. He maintained that basing the currency on both gold and silver as that law provided was draining away the nation’s gold supply. Because silver had been made so abundant, it was cheap. As a result, people were using silver to obtain paper money, converting the papers into gold—and then hoarding it. Banks as well as individuals engaged in this practice, and in so doing were threatening the nation’s gold reserves. The only solution, Cleveland believed, was to place the country on a gold standard; that is, having currency based solely on gold. Pursuing this conviction, he persuaded Congress to repeal the [purchasing clause of the Sherman] Silver Purchase Act before the first year of his term was over”

August 30—It was time to elect political leadership for Greenville.

“The election for mayor and twelve aldermen for the city of Greenville is announced to be held on Tuesday, September 12. The city hall is the voting place and S.S. Crittenden, H.W. Cely, and H.C. Mark have been appointed as the managers. Polls open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.”

September 6—Charleston, South Carolina, has suffered several storms, hurricanes, at least one major earthquake, and war. In 1893 the culprit was a hurricane and just seven years earlier an earthquake shook the city relentlessly. At this point in time, the paper records the deaths at 3 in the city and 3 on Sullivan’s Island.

“The Storm of 1893. Death and Destruction in Its Wake. The waterfront completely wrecked. The fury of the storm on Sullivan’s Island. The cyclone of August 27, 1893 will long be remembered as one of the most disastrous of the numerous disasters with which Charleston has been visited in many, many years.…The west and east water fronts are badly wrecked, and all throughout the streets of the city the debris of bricks, stones, lumber, telegraph wires, etc. blockade the way. On many of the streets there were rolls and rolls of tin roofing, which were swept away during the night. The tides on the east and west fronts were forced up into the neighboring streets to the depth of from five to six, and in some places even ten feet, making it almost impossible for occupants of the houses to communicate with the heart of the city.…The bridge of the Charleston Bridge Company over the Ashley River is almost a total wreck.…”

September 13—The Charleston damage was severe, but Sea Island, Georgia,  suffered the worst. The date of the report is a week after the report for Charleston, which is indicative of the difficulty accessing Sea Island and having communications after the hurricane.

“The Sea Island Disaster. The worst calamity of the century—the dead are numbered by thousands, with starvation and pestilence threatening the living. The awful proportions of the disaster on the storm swept coast of South Carolina are at last realized. It proves to be the calamity of the century. A death toll of several hundred persons develops into a loss of that many thousands while absolute destitution extends to twenty thousand persons…”

October 25—The Synod of South Carolina of the PCUS met annually and its convening was noted by the Mountaineer. Clinton was particularly important to South Carolina Presbyterians because of its First Church (organized during the ministry of Zelotes Holmes), Presbyterian College, and Thornwell Orphanage.

“The Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina will convene at Clinton on Tuesday, October 31st.”

November 1Chicora College was located in Greenville within the area bounded by the Reedy River, River Street, and South Main Street. It was a Presbyterian school for women that eventually moved to Columbia, and then on to Charlotte. The Mountaineer noted the resignation and departure of its principal (president).

“The Chicora College fitly honored its worthy principal in recognition of the recent change in his domestic relations, and the pupils are cordially endorsed by the community in extending greetings to Prof. and Mrs. McKinnon.”

November 22—At Thanksgiving time city Presbyterians gathered for a service on the fourth Wednesday of November. See on Place for Truth the article “Thanksgiving: 400 Years Later,” which provides history of the holiday in the United States.

“The Presbyterian Churches of this city have arranged for united services on Thanksgiving Day at 7:30 o’clock a.m. in the Washington Street Church [First Presbyterian]. Rev. R. E. Henderlite preaches the sermon.”

December 12—Marketing Christmas gifts is nothing new as is seen in this advertisement. The list of goods includes “Shoo-Flys” which were a type of rocker for children.

“Advertisement–Eugene F. Bates, Buggy, Wagon, Harness and Bicycle House, Greenville, S.C. His inventory included: “Express Wagons, Goat Wagons, Velocipedes, Doll Carriages, Tricycles, Bicycles, Shoo-Flys, Rocking-Horses, Barrows, and Goat Sulkies for the Christmas Trade.”

The End

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