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Historical Sketch of Edgefield.
To the Editor of The State :
In 1785 Edgefield district was
carved out of the old domain of
Ninety Six. The locality had already
become well known. During the Rev
olutionary war two skirmishes of im
. portance took place within its bounds,
one at Cloud's Creek in 1782, where
fell in the cause of liberty 32 Ameri
cans. The spot is in the eastern part
of the county, three miles from the
town of Leesville. Th? other was a
battle of more note, fought. near
what was known as "The Old Pine
House," the home of the Weaver
family, burned soon after the war of
the '60's, which stood where the vil
lage of Trenton has grown up.
Among the scattered dwellers in
old Ninety Six district was Arthur
Simkins, a native of Virginia, where
his family had been prominent for
over a century. In 1772 he emigrated
to South Carolina and purchased a
large tract of land. He called his
plantation "Cedar Field." It lay
about three miles from the present
town of Edgefield, which was largely
built on a part of his land. Mr. Sim
kins gave to the infant village a site
for a Baptist church and graveyard,
the same on which the present build
ing stands. He also donated ground
for a school, and one of the present
public school houses stands on that
original site. Mr. Simkins built on his
plantation a handsome and commo
dious dwelling. He established or
chards and gardens, all of which have
been swept away by the hand of time.
Only the magnificent cedar trees re
main. They were flourishing a very
few years ago, and may be still, love
lier perhaps in this 20th century than
.they were to the eyes of Arthur Sim
kins and his friends in that far away
Held Various Office:;.
Mr. Simkins was a soldier of the
Revolution. He was regarded as the
founder of Edgefield, and held a
number of responsible offices in its
early history. In 1795 county courts
were established in South Carolina,
and he became one of the county
Arthur Simkins married Margaret
"Clarke, a sister of General Clarke of
Georgia, said to have been a very
handsome and charming woman.
Their graves are side by side in the
old Simkins burying ground not far
from their home.
.TTX1.?J-_. -"rQa fi^.t?no. for
._ 0____gnt?r ol ner hus
band's .uncle, Gen. Elijah Clarke of
Georgia. Of this lady General Pick
ens said, "She is a beautiful woman,
the sweetest and most interesting
lady I ever saw in any society."
Eldred Simkins served his; district
in congress for four years. At the
end of that time he declined reelec
tion in favor of his friend and law
partner, George McDufiie. At a later
dat? Mr. Simkins practiced law in
partnership with F. W. Pickens.
Members of the Simkins family
have been intimately connected with
the history of Edgefield throughout
its whole career. A son of Eldred
who bore his grandfather's name,
Arthur, was editor of the Edgefield
Advertiser, established in 1839, one
of South Carolina's oldest newspa
pers. It was not, however, the first
published in the district. Preceding
it was The Edgefield Bee Hive print
?d at Pottersville. Its existence was,
however, of short duration. John C.
Simkins, another son of Edgefield,
was killed at Battery Wagner.
The village of Edgefield was made
the county seat in 1791, and court
was held there in 1792.
The Edgefield academy, which had
been in operation for some years, was
incorporated December 18, 1824,
though the town was not incorporat
ed until 1830. James Caldwell of
Newberry, afterwards chancellor,
taught there in 1819. Another of its
teachers was Robert L. Armstrong,
one of the instructors when Profes
sor LaBorde of the South Carolina
college and author of a history of
that institution attended school.
Dies at Altar.
Another of Edgefield's distinguish
ed citizens was Francis Wi Pickens,
appointed by President Buchanan
minister to Russia, and later elected
governor of South Carolina, which
office had been held by his father and
his grandfather before him. In the
lonely old Simkins graveyard sleeps
his first wife, Margaret Eliza, daught
er of Eldred and Eliza Simkins, and
beside her two 'sons, Francis* and El
dred. Her daughters lived to grow up,
one of them however, only to reach
young womanhood. The girl was be
ing married in St. Michael's church in
Charleston during the distressful and
mournful days of the Confederate
ivar: the clergyman was reading the
solemn words o? the marriage ser
vice, when a shell fired by the bom
barding enemy crashed through the
building and a fragment penetrated
the bride's heart, crimsoning her robe
with blood and snuffed out her life. So
sudden, so awful was the tragedy,
that for an instant she still stood
erect with hand upon the bride
groom's arm while the voice of the
minister continued reading the mar
riage words, until a groan broke
from the horror stricken audience,
and the dazed bridegroom caught in
his arms the falling body of his bride.
Another daughter of Governor
Pickens and his first wife, the loved
and honored Mri;. Rebecca Pickens
Bacon, died only a few years ago,
after a long and useful life.
Just before going to represent
America at the court of the Czar,
Francis Pickens, then a widower,
married a Kentucky girl, Miss Lucy
Holcombe* whose wonderful beauty
created a sensation even in St. Pe
tersburg. While living at the Russian
capital another daughter was added
to the family, and the Czarina her
self became the child's godmother.
Francesca was the baby christened in
honor of her father, though never in
all her brief life was the maiden
called by that stately name, but al
ways "Darling," .though the love
word was in the Russian language,
where it is "Douschka." Little
Douschka was, however, but a baby
when the thunders of war reverber
ating from her far off birthplace call
ed her parents back. Then the darling
of the Romanoff court gr 2W to charm
ing girlhood at her quiet ancestral
home on the outskirts of Edgefield.
Greatly was the girl beloved by all
who knew her.
Red Shirts Ride. ;
In later days when "Red Shirts"
companies all over the state wrested
political victory from the hands of
an interloping enemy, Duoschka
Pickens won for herself the title of
"The Joan of Arc of Edgefield."
Benjamin R. Tillman in a speech in
Anderson about the year 1892 or
1893 gave a very vivid and lucid ac
count of the first appearance of the
"bloody shirt" in Edgefield county,
makjng clear what before that time
had seemed to be a thing inexpli
cable, how both Anderson and Edge
field could and did claim to have ori
ginated the red shirt uniform. Sena
tor Tillman, who was a young man at
iU- +?W10. was one of ? n"T1-- - "
?tey were under indictment then to
appear for alleged complicity in Ku
Klux performances. Those were the
days when Blaine was wildly waving
"the bloody shirt" in the United
States senate, and, the suggestion
came that the oft mentioned garment
should become the insignia of the
goaded Democrats, or rather should
be adopted by that especial band of
them to wear at their "trial." The
idea met with approbation, and B. R.
Tillman was one of two young men
sent to procure material for the
bloody shirts. He said they bought a
great quantity of yellow homespun,
and that the women of the vicinity
went tj work immediately to make
it into garments for the men by the
next day when the "trial" was to
take place. Also ore huge shirt was
to be fashioned to be stretched across
a gigantic frame wi:h arms extended,
and to be surmounted by two negro
mask faces turned back to back, then
of course facing both ways, topped by
a kinky negro wig; this herculean
figure to be carried as a sort of ban
ner. The shirts as soon as finished
were splotched with great red spots,
some made with paint, some with
poke berries and other crimson dyes.
That was the first uniform by any
of the South Carolina men soon to
become known as "reformers." Theirs
was the "bloody shirt." A little later
in Pendleton originated the "red
shirt," made of flannel, which ap
peared for the first time at a polit
ical meeting in Anderson when the
Pendleton men marched into town
and demanded a. share of time for
the Democratic candidates to speak
at the same meeting with the Re
publicans, and also the red shirt com
pany appeared at Hampton's first
campaign meeting, which was held
in Anderson. At a political gathering
some days later in Columbia Gen.
Mart Gary, "the Bald Eagle of Edge
field," recommended that the reform
party adopt as their official uniform
the redshirt as worn in Anderson.
Woman Leads Van.
When Hampton came to hold his
campaign meeting in Edgefield,
Douschka Pickens, clad in red from
head to foot, rode into the village at
the head of a mounted band of men,
all wearing the red garment, and
hailing her as "Our Joan of Arc."
The famous Ned Brace of Judjp
Longstreet's inimitable "Georgia
Scenes" was a sketch of Col. Edmund
Bacon of Edgefield, descended from
the Virginia- family, of which Na
thaniel Bacon was a member, and
also related to the distinguished Eng
lish family o? the same name. Col.
James T. Bacon, as .remarkable a
character as Ned Brace himself, was
his grandson, and for many years the
brilliant editor of the Edgefield Ad
Edgefield was the home of A. P.
Butler, M. C. Butler, Preston S.
Brooks and four of South Carolina's
governors, Pickens, Bonna:.:, Shep
pard and Tillman.
Edgefield sent to the defense of
the South many brave soldiers and
among them was a woman. When
South Carolina seceded, Cornelius
Horne and his wife, Lucinda, with an
only child, William, just grown, were
among the humbler citizens of the
district. Both father and son enlisted
in Company K, Fourteenth South
Carolina volunteers, and- when Mc
Gowan's brigade, to which Company
K belonged, went to the front, Lu
cinda Horne went too. All through
Jackson's hard campaigns she accom
panied the soldiers, cooking, washing
and nursing the wounded. Where the
field hospital was located, there af
ter every battle was Lucinda Horne
to be found, by her sympathetic min
istrations relieving suffering, saving
life and soothing the dying. At
Jones' farm her son was wounded and
I his mother had the satisfaction of
nursing him herself. William lived 12
years after the war, but finally died
from the effects of the injury then re
ceived. Mrs. Horne also outlived her
husband. For many years after the
war was but a memory, she was great
ly honored by the Confederate vet
erans, and attended their reunions,
a welcome and venerated guest.
In the old days Edgefield in spite
of its gallant gentlemen and charm
ing women, won the reputation of be
ing the wickedest section of a pretty
stormy little state, a championship
which it has long ago lost. There are
other counties today where unaveng
ed murders and black crimes are far
more common than in Edgefield.
Left Husbands in Pool.
Among the interesting places in
the town which cause a delightful
thrill of horror is a deep black tarn
known as "Becky's pool." Into its
depths by day venturesome boys cast
challenging stones and stoutlv
I bands, after which she took a fourth,
and was herself finally slain in front
of the court house by her own broth
er, who coolly mounted his horse and
rode unmolested away while the gap
ing crowd which had watched him
beat her brains out with a rock,
stood by and gazed after his retreat
In a dark forest which skirts the
town stands also a haunted tree, a
Wicked looking old beech, and the
dusky denisons of an African settle
ment just beyond will tell you that
dogs which happen to be black and
white always stop at the foot of this
tree and bark frantically while look
ing up into its branches; jumping and
tearing up the earth in their endeav
ors to reach snme object in the
boughs above them. No human eye,
they tell you, has ever beheld even a
sparrow perch upon the accursed
limbs, but all the world knows that a
black and white dog can see ghosts.
But if Edgefield was wicked and
infested with "liants" it early adopt
ed a wholesome antidote. The first
church established was a Methodist,
which was built on the ground later
occupied by the Mims' residence.
One of .the first preachers of which
there is any record was John B.
Mitchell, a soldier of the Revolution,
captured by the British in some
Northern colony, and brought South
as a servant of one of their officers.
For more than 50 years he labored
faithfully in the little village of
The next church built was a Bap
tist church, and an early preacher of
that faith was William Eddins, also
a soldier of the Revolution, who en
tered the service from Newberry at
the age of 16. At one time young Ed
dins was captured and with other
prisoners was being escorted to Nine
ty Six. His horse was taken from him
and assigned to the soldier sent to
guard them. On the way the sentinel
dismounted and leaning his musket
against a tree, took a pull at a black
bottle which he carried. Young Ed
dins saw his opportunity and seizing
the musket, mounted his own horse
and made his escape. He. served the
church in Edgefield as pastor for a
number of years, after which he emi
grated to Tennessee.
The third church to be built in
Edgefield was Trinity Episcopal,
erected in 1839, large through the
generosity of Col. Edmund Bacon
(Ned Brace). Mr. Whitfield Brooks
and his wife, Mrs. Mary Parson Car
roll Brooks, gave the ground on
which it and the accompanying rec
tory were built. That is now the old
est church building in the town.
The later history of Edgefield is
familiar to every South Carolinian,
for Edgefield men have taken leading
parts in the onward - march of the
state to such an extent that not to
know them and the great old county
from which they came, at laest by
i reputation, marks one as uninformed,
and as the Palmetto state is rapidly
wiping out her plague spot of igno
rance, soon there will be no more un
informed in all her borders, and the
heritage of her proud history will be
shared by every one of her sons and
Louise Ayer Vandiver.
DIFFERENT BREEDS OF HENS
Leghorns and Minorcas Are Best for
Eggs, but Are Poor Sitters-Brah
mas Best for Meat
(Prepared by the United States Depart
ment of Agriculture.)
Chickens, for convenience, may b?
classified as egg breeds, meat breeds,
general-purpose breeds, and fancy o? ?
The egg breeds include the small 01 ?
medium-sized fowls which are very ac
tive, quick to mature, producers ol
white-shelled eggs, usually non."' .ers j
or at best but poor sitters, and rathei i
poor mothers, say poultry specialist j
of the. United States Department ol t
Agriculture. The varieties of Leghorns, *
and Minorcas are good representatives <
of this class. Because they are poor ^
sitters some other breed, or at least s <
few other fowls, should be kept if nat t
ural methods of incubation are to be j
employed. On account of their early <
maturity lt is not uncommon for indi- *
viduals of the egg breeds to begin lay- t
lng at the age of four and one-hall *
months. These breeds do not fatten ?
as readily under ordinary conditions !
as the. larger and less active breeds, ?
and are rather sensitive to low tem- |
perature because of their large combs t
and wattles. |
The largest fowls, represented In t
the meat class, are especially suitable |
for the production of large roasters, i
They are slow and somewhat sluggish j
in movement, have little desire for ?
foraging, are easily confined by low |
fences, rather slow to mature, persist- ?
ent sitters, and rat*-"* J,*v ~*" '
.oc.~, .Maninga tlfenPes- ,
-peC?a?y adapted to the person wish
ing a supply of both eggs and meat.
As one has to make frequent sales of
flesh In the shape of surplus cockerels
and hens, the carcass as well as egg
production sfiould be considered. The
general-purpose breeds are usually
good sitters and good mothers. They
have medium-sized combs and wattles
and endure cold weather well. They
Ideai Condition for Hen Flock is Free
occupy a medium position between the
egg iinrl meat breeds as to size, egg
production, and docility. The Ply
mouth Rocks, Wyandottes, Khode
Island Reds and Orpingtons are good
representatives of this class.
Foundry, Machine, Boiler
Works and Mill Supply
Cotton Oil, Gin, Saw, Grist, Cane,
Shingle Mill, Machinery Supplies and
Repairs, Shafting, Pulleys, Hangers,
Grate Bars, Pumps, Pipe, Valves and
Fittings, injectors, Belting, Packing
Hose, etc. Cast every day.
GASOLINE AND KEROSENE "
Pumping, Wood Sawing asa Feed
Grinding Outfit* . .
I will thresh peas at 10 cents per
bushel and bale hay at 10 cents per
J. P. TIMMERMAN,
Trenton, S. C., Route 1.
THE BEST SOFT COAL MINED
No soot, no clinkrrs, no dirt, no pop. A hard
variety of soft coal, producing more heat than any
other bituminous coal mined.
A free burning long flame coal suitable for grates,
cook stoves, base burners and furnace-free of slate
or bone. Every pound guaranteed or your money
back. Will hold fire like anthricite and is the most
economical coal you can burn.
. ?. TAYLOR
Exclusive Agent-Edgefield, S. C.
Large Stock of
Jewelr to Select From
We invite our Edgefield friend? to visit our store
when in Augusta. We have the largest stock of
AND SILVERWARE /
of all kinds that we have ever shown. It will be a pleasure to show
you through our stock. Every department is constantly replenished
with the newest designs.
We call especial attention to our repairing department, which has
every improvement. Your watch or clock made as good as new.
Work ready for delivery in a shorf time.
Augusta, Ga. S
ARRINGTON BROS. & CO.
Wholesale Grocers and Dealers in
Corn, Oats, Hay and all
Kinds of Feeds
Gloria Flour and Dan Patch Horse?Teed
Corner Cumming and Fenwick Streets
On Georgia R. R. Tracks
YOUR PATRONAGE SOLICITED
' See our representative, C. E. May.
Wo Can Give You Prompt Service
on Mill Work and Interior Finish
Large stock of Rough and Dressed Lumber on handSfor
Woodward Lumber Co.
Corner Roberts and Dugas Sta., Augusta, Ga,
Pencil No. 174
Yaw* - :'-v?w--*u- r?^^-^-?x~*
For Sale at your Dealer Made in five gradea
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