Marlboro County, SC Towns
The following historical sketch of Adamsville was transcribed from microfilm of the Pee Dee Advocate newspaper, and contributed by Mary Lewis. Thanks, Mary!
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF ADAMSVILLE TOWNSHIP
Paper Read by Mrs. Tom C. Hamer Before Pee Dee Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution on March 16, 1915 and Published by the Request of the Chapter in the Pee Dee Advocate, Bennettsville, SC on April 22, 1914, pg 4.
The study of history should ever be most interesting, for it is nothing less than the development of a country and her people; but prior to this development, there must be a beginning. Who are the people that have made history? And what was the condition of the country? Unpopulated, with vast forests, and their running brooks. In this condition the early settlers were found and of what history there is is due to their indomitable will and courage. Of this I make my sketch and lay a garland on their graves for the rich heritage left us.
Now my subject, Adamsville, lies in the northeastern part of our county and to find its beginning and to secure some other early data has become my duty and privilege. The history of this territory as well as her people dates from its earliest infancy and will be learned as we go further down these pages.
This community was called Adamsville for a reason, a large per cent of its population were Adams; although there were other prominent families, vis, Fletchers, Easterlings, Parker, Betheas and Newtons. Jonathan Adams, of Scotch Irish decent, the first of his name came to Marlboro with his wife who was Mary Robeson, prior to the Revolutionary war and settled near what is now known as the "Burnt Factory". He was a soldier of the Revolution and after the struggle had ended, died on his return home. Three sons were left to perpetuate his name: William, John and Shockley. It is said of William when a boy ten or twelve years old, his mother sent him to a mill on horse back. On his way he was met by some Tories who demanded of him, with threats of death, information as to the localities of certain treasures of persons. William refused this demand, knowing it would be wrong to the cause of his country so he replied, "To die was better than to live under the burden of shame."
Thus provoking the cruel gang, they tied him to a tree and left him hanging to die. Meanwhile the horse returned home alone; his mother becoming alarmed at this went in search of her boy and found him hanging to this tree. She immediately let him down before life was extinct. He lived and reared a large family and today people, young and old, are proud to have descended from him. This same William Adams lived to be nearly one hundred years old, having died about 1855 and succeeded in having the matrimonial knot tied upon four different occasions.
He settled somewhere between Adamsville cross roads and Mr. W. B. Adams store having purchased tract of land from his father-in-law. He married first time Mary Marine, whom all know as the ancestor of the poet John Whitcomb Riley. From this marriage were six children, of whom one son, John P. married Julia Newton, sister of the Rev. Cornelius Newton, and daughter of Younger Newton, Sr.,and granddaughter of Giles Newton, Sr., who came to this county from Virginia and was the great progenitor of all the Newton family. This Rev. Cornelius Newton was a local preacher and in this cause alone he did a noble work. He married a daughter of Robert Purcell and this couple are the parents of Hon. H. H. Newton, Sr., of our town; and Mrs. D. K. McColl in his daughter.
The second wife was Julia Bullard. The late Mr. Jackson Adams was a son of this marriage, whose descendants are numbered among us today. A daughter, Anno, married Matthew McNair, the father of John F. McNair of Laurinburg, who so recently endowed Bariun Springs Orphanage.
The third wife was Elizabeth Gibson, daughter of Nelson Gibson, Sr., and from them have come Rev. Shockley D. Adams, who married Martha Fletcher, daughter of Joshua and Nancy Fletcher. He was a member of the North Carolina conference, a profound thinker, a wise counselor and a safe man to be trusted with the important affairs of his church. At the time of his death he was presiding elder of the Warrenton district. From this union have come two sons who are prominent in North Carolina today – one Henry B. Adams, a distinguished lawyer of Monroe, the other W. J. Adams of Carthage, Judge of the Superior Court of North Carolina.
The fourth and last wife was Patsy Easterling. There were no children in this marriage.
The second son of Jonathan was John, who married Celia Cook, a daughter of William Cook, a Revolutionary soldier. They lived where Mr. Tyler Breeden now lives and reared a family of ten children of whom the only son, Welcome ---------married Miss ----- and a daughter of the couple was Mary Jane, who became the wife of Rev. Wm. K. Breeden. A daughter of John and Celia Adams was Martha, who married Henry Easterling, from whom is descended the historian of the Pee Dee Chapter (Mrs. J. A. Faison.).
Shockley Adams, Sr., third son of Jonathan Adams, married Isabella McRae, daughter of Mary McLeod, who was a descendent of Flora McDonald. From this union have descended many people among whom are two grand sons, W. A. and Harris Gunter , who are noted judges in Montgomery, Ala. Shockley Adams, Sr., settled at Adamsville cross roads. When Jonathan Marine came to this county he lived on the tract of land he sold to Shockley Adams in 1807. To go still further back into the records of history Jonathan Marine purchased this same tract of land in 1792 from Henry Easterling, founder of the Beaver Dam Baptist church, and Henry Easterling received the grant from his excellency, Wm. Moultrie in 1796. This Shockley had a store and a post office connected with it, opposite his house and it was by these cross roads the old stage coach used to pass, until 1822., when the stage road was moved to the road passing Goodwin’s mill.
Shockley Adams and wife and John Adams and wife were buried at Adamsville cemetery. I have been told that William Adams was buried at Pine Grove church, although only a wooden slab marks his grave today.
Fletcher and Adams have intermarried to such an extent the two families go hand in hand so to speak. The Fletcher of English descent and for more than a century have been recognized and honored as among the foremost citizens of Adamsville. Joshua Fletcher, the first of this name, came from North Carolina in 1815 with his wife, Nancy Smith, daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth Smith, and settled where his son, John S. Fletcher lived having purchased his land from Leggett Robertson. His second wife was also Nancy, a daughter of Moses Parker. From these two marriages have come a host of honorable people and among whom have descended the writer of this Adamsville history. This Joshua, like many more of the early settlers, and like Joshua of old, was a man of great determination and early set himself to the task of subduing the forest and replenishing the earth.
About 1759 Tristam Thomas had two grand sons, Lewis and Phimelion, who came from Virginia and settled in Adamsville. Lewis married a Miss Breeden, they had a daughter who became the second wife of Moses Parker. After Lewis died his widow married Jesse Bethea, Sr. bought this place from the widow of Shockley Adams in 1836 (as there were no male heirs) and it was sold for a partition of the Adams estate. A son of this marriage of Jesse Bethea, Jr., he married three sisters Esther, Isabella and Mary, all daughters of John and Celia Adams. Children by his first marriage with Esther, were Truss and Jesse, Mary Anne, who married Mr. R. J. Tatum of Tatum, and another daughter who married Robert Johnson. Truss and Jesse went west as young men, and after the marriage of Truss with a Mississippi lady, Susan Hemby, they returned to Marlboro and settled near Pine Grove. Their daughter, Lou, married Archie Fletcher. Truss was killed during the war between the States and his widow lived until 1915.
Children by second marriage with Isabella, we find Celia who became the first wife of Dr. Welcome Moore; a son William, married Victoria Gibson, daughter of Nancy Fletcher and James Gibson, and after William died his widow married Dr. Welcome Moore. (His third wife.) The last wife was the widow of William Moore from which there were no children.
During these years there were a number of substantial people who were wandering through the country seeking good and suitable climate and being well favored with the fine timbered lands of Marlboro settled in Adamsville. Among those early settlers was Moses Parker, who, by his substantial worth and firmness of character, proved to be a worthy citizen and soldier of the Revolution. As said above, the second wife of Moses Parker was Miss Thomas. Their son, Lewis, married Betsy Pipkin, and their son was Capt. John R. Parker, who married Judith Gibson, daughter of James M and Hannah Gibson and were the parents of Tom L. Parker of McColl, S.C. Capt. Parker lived on the same lands that were set off as a dower to his grandmother. This Moses Parker, having spent his last five shillings for his first marriage fee, he, not only made a living for his 22 children, but had acquired large possessions of splendid lands at the time of his death in 1830.
About 1771 Henry Easterling settled near Beaver Dam and married Miss Ellen Bennett, daughter of William Bennett, a Revolutionary soldier, who is buried near "Burnt Factory." From this union were two sons, Shadrach and William Shadrach, first married Rebecca Stubbs, a daughter of William Stubbs, a Revolutionary soldier. His second wife was a Bennett William Easterling married a Miss Covington of Rockingham and lived between Adamsville cross roads and road leading to McColl. He was a soldier of the Revolution leader Francis Marion and after the close of this struggle, he served as Ordinary of this county from 1803 to 1835. A large connection have descended from him and tracing through his son Samuel, who married an Allsbrook and their son William, who married Della Hamer, daughter of Phillip and Kitty Hamer, we find another of our Chapter members, Mrs. J. K O-----.
Recalling to your memory the Rev. W. K. Breeden, having been mentioned on the preceding pages, we find the home of his boyhood on the Adamsville road. The old site is where Lindsay Breeden the progenitor of all the Breedens, started in life, and who was the father of Rev. Wm. K. Breeden: Joseph L , Captl Peter L. and Thomas J. Breeden, and from whom have sprung a large number of useful citizens who have always been interested in the welfare of their country.
While these early settlers were finding suitable homes, there was a colony of Quakers who came into the Adamsville settlement, and built for themselves a house of worship purchasing the house from Jonathan Marine. This location was where Pine Grove church is today, although it was called "Piney Grove" at that time due to the vast forest. After the Revolution ended these people felt that slavery had become a fixture in our Southland and believing this to be religiously wrong moved away, the house of worship was used in common by both Baptist and Methodists, but finally went into possession of the latter. From that time to the present there has been a strong influential people of Methodists around Pine Grove while the Baptists ultimately settled at Beaver Dam.
The best educational advantages of its kind for those days were found at Pine Grove. Northern teachers were employed, one of whom was a lady from Vermont, who married Dr. Herndon and were the parents of the late Dr. Herndon (Dentist). Later the school was taught by such noted men as Robert Johnson, J. Monroe Johnson, Daniel White Johnson, Neill D. Johnson, John McKinnon, Col. Harris Covington and others. So the educational as well as religious interests have been maintained throughout these years.
Having referred to "Burnt Factory" on a former page, let me here relate from whence the name came. Harris R. Adams owned a corn mill on the stream known as Crooked Creek. In 1834 a stock company was formed of J. N. Williams of Society Hill, John McQueen and W. T. Ellerbe of Marlboro. They purchased eight hundred acres of land near Crooked Creek, and in addition to this bought the tract of land from near Crooked Creek, and in addition to this bought the tract of land from Harris R. Adams. Work was begun at once on a three story building. It being completed in 1835. This was the first cotton factory built in our county. The operatives were slaves belonging to the men named. In this factory was made some homespun cloth and thread Nos. 6 and 12. The products of this plant not used for home consumption were shipped to northern markets via Pee Dee river to Georgetown and on north. In 1851 this factory was burned, caused by a spark originating in the cotton picker at which time Mr. Meekin Townsend, father of Judge C. P. Townsend owned the plant. Hence the name of the "Burnt Factory".
Now, going back to our early ancestry, when all these people were settled in the different parts of this territory, they at once, began work to clear away the immense forests and to till the soil. Lands then were exceedingly reasonable and were bought in abundance. Although it was not very fertile, these people raised cotton, corn and grains, and lived much at home. These lands having been tilled for more than 100 years, today, Adamsville cannot be excelled for being a more prosperous and successful people. We read of Marlboro as the pioneer county of South Carolina in intensive system of farming so we are proud to say Adamsville has not only kept pace but has set a most worthy example in all that stands for Christianity, citizenship and prosperity.
Mrs. Tom C. Hamer, March 16, 1915
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