Archibald B. Surles
The Dillon Herald, Dillon, South Carolina
July 6, 1905, Vol. 10, No. 2
Mr. A. B. Surles Passes Away
After a lingering illness Mr. A. B. Surles died at an early hour Sunday
morning, aged 71. Surrounded by his relatives and a few life-long friends the end came
peacefully as the soul of the aged man passed into the great beyond.
In many respects Mr. Surles was a most remarkable man. He began life
without a penny. His education was limited to the meager amount of knowledge he acquired
at the fireside, yet his thrift and industry, combined with his shrewd business judgement,
enabled him to accumulate a vast fortune, his estate being worth probably $125,000.
Mr. Surles was born at Sterling's Mill in Robeson county. When eight years
of age his parents moved to Marion county and settled on lands now known as the Col. Stackhouse
place and owned by Dr. W. Stackhouse. A few years afterward his parents again moved,
this time settling on what is known today as the Bob Bailey place just across Maple Swamp.
The elder Surles, a man of more than average intelligence, was a leader among his people,
and besides doing many other works of a public nature, he established, and for quite a while
largely supported, Pleasant Grove church, for many years the only place of worship for a
radius of many miles. The talents of the father were transmitted to the son, and the
development of the Maple Swamp section, today on of the most fertile spots in the county,
constituted the life-work of the deceased. From the dust of the humble log church he
erected by the elder Surles has sprung a neat and commodious house of worship-a monument
to father and son.
Mr. Surles was twice married, his first wife being Mary Price, sister of
the late Hugh P. Price. Five children was the result of this union. A few years ago he
was married to a Miss Dove of the Rowell Mill section, who still survives him. His second
marriage was without issue.
The remains were laid to rest at Pleasant Grove Monday morning with
Masonic honors, Rev. O. S. Curtis conducting a simple burial service.
July 13, 1905, Vol. 10, No. 28
A. B. Surles, page 2
The statement made by the reporter in regard to the burial of Mr. Surles
"with Masonic honors" was a mistake. Mr. Surles was not a member of the Masonic fraternity.
F. O. S. Curtis
Sen. Mackey Lodge, No. 77, A. F. M.
Dillon, S. C., July 11, 1905
July 13, 1905, Vol. 10, No. 28
The following article was also published in the above issue.
The subject of this sketch passed away, on the morning of July second,
A. D. 1905, in his 68th year of his age. Mr. Surles was in many respects a remarkable
man, in business he was successful, in religion he was orthodox, as a friend he was
faithful, as a husband and father he was lovable and affectionate. The issue of his
first marriage was one son and four daughters, all of whom are living except one daughter.
His first wife was Miss Mary Price who preceded him to the grave by several years.
His last wife was Miss Mary Christian Dove who survives him. Mr. Surles labor for the
advancement of the Baptist cause throughout the world is well known, while tolerant and
friendly towards all Christian sects, he was eminently a Baptist. He served as church
clerk, deacon and Sunday School Superintendent for many years. He cheerfully contributed
of his means for church building for extending the gospel to the needy at home and abroad,
his death is a serious blow to the Baptist cause. In business he was far seeing and
He was a successful farmer and his start in life was gained by farming.
He was a soldier in the war between the States. He was with the writer in
Capt. J. H. Stafford's Co. I, 1st Regt. S. C. V., in 1863, but had a serious lung trouble
which eventually secured his honorable discharge from the service in 1864. While
undemonstrative of his aflections (sic), his life was spent trying to secure a competency
for those dependent upon him. In this was as eminently successful, leaving an estate
worth from $150,000 to $200,000. And he was patriotic and loved Dillon, the town built
partly upon and near his property. He tried to leave nothing in the way of the town's
progress. He was a broad minded and conservative citizen. May God help us all to imitate
Submitted by Helen Moody, 4 Nov 2003.