Joshua Hilton, Clifton
Story furnished by Clarence
According to the
Federal census of 1880, Joshua Hilton’s parents, arriving from England,
settled for a while in the state of New Jersey where their son, Robert
Hilton, was born. Migrating to Missouri, their son, Joshua Hilton, was
born in 1841. The 1880 Census listed Joshua as a Factory Superintendent
and his brother’s (George P. Hilton)
obituary published in the
Spartanburg Herald on Sunday Dec. 6, 1908 gave Joshua as being the
Superintendent of Clifton Mills until his death.
Coming to Glendale
sometime in the 1870s, Joshua began to buy land in the mill area.
According to the Spartanburg Register of Deeds office, (Deed Book QQ
P301, dated Dec. 30, 1879, Book QQ P303, dated March 28, 1880, Book SS
P 554, dated July 23, 1880) Joshua bought 126 ½ acres of land in
three different tracts just across Lawson Fork on the south side of the
Mill. The property was purchased from Hannah and S. M. Bagwell for one
thousand, sixty nine dollars. ($1,069.00)
The 1901 survey Plat
of the D.E. Converse Company, Glendale, S. C. property shows the Hilton
property joining the Company property, running east along the creek
bank for some distance. In the 1879 purchase, Joshua gave right of way
for a public road. While not identified in the deed, apparently this
was for the road which was to become the Glendale/Bethesda Road, now
called the Emma Cudd Road. Dexter E. Converse, President of the D.E.
Converse Co. was witness to this purchase.
Joshua married Panthea
M. Haynes from North Carolina and they became the parents of a daughter
named Mabel C. Hilton who died on April 24,1884, having lived only
15months and 17 days as inscribed on family grave marker. Also one son
named Harvey H. Hilton was born in February of 1885.
Legend tells us that
Joshua had a well dug and built a house upon the hill overlooking the
creek below. Displeased with the taste of the well water, he decided to
purchase the small track of land with two springs which joined his
property on the lower side. Having purchased the land, he had a large
foundation laid and a basement built primarily of rock and concrete
upon which the house he had first built was rolled.
When the house was
finished, it had been expanded to a large three story house with a full
size basement, in which Joshua and his family, his brother, Doctor
George P. Hilton and boarders lived. The house contained 11 rooms,
halls and a stairway. A “dumbwaiter” was used between the basement
where Doctor Hilton worked on his medicine formulas and the living
quarters. Cabinets where built on the interior basement walls where Dr.
Hilton kept medicine formulas he was working on and prepared bottled
medicine ready for use. The basement also had a large open fireplace
and a small room called the “potato room” where potatoes were stored
The 1880 Census shows
Madina(?) age 20 and Mary E. Petty age 18 as boarders. Obviously they
were employees or seeking employment in the cotton mill which lies
across the creek from the home. Mill employees from the south side of
the mill walked over a cross-over foot bridge which spanned the waters
into the back of the mill.
Indications are that
Dexter Converse recruited Joshua Hilton to the area and that he worked
at the Glendale plant of D. E. Converse Co. before being transferred to
Clifton Mill No.1 a Division of D. E. Converse Co. where he was serving
as Superintendent at the time of his death. It had started production
in June of 1881. Records show that Joshua had bought 58 ½ acres
of land at Hurricane Shoals (Clifton #1) for two hundred, thirty four
dollars ($234,00) in 1880.
Joshua Hilton died
August 2, 1886 at the age of 45 and was buried in the Clifton Cemetery
located on the Old School House road in Clifton No.1. This writer has
been unable to find a copy of his obituary. A large 9 or 10 foot white
marble monument which bears the symbol of Masonry marks his grave. His
name and date of death is inscribed on the front along with the words;
“At home with Jesus”. On the right side of the monument the name of his
wife, Panthea Hilton Wolling, (obviously she had remarried) born
January 31, 1856, died May 1, 1941 is inscribed. On the back side, the
name of his brother George P. Hilton is inscribed along with the date
of his death. On the right side, the name of their daughter Mable C.
Hilton is inscribed along with date of death as noted previously. I
have no record of their son’s death.
The Hiltons were a
very prominent and influential family in the community. Hilton Hill
road which runs uphill in front of the house and bears that name today
was named in honor of the Hilton family. Her husband having died, the
1900 census showed Panthea Hilton as head of the house with Harvey
Hilton, her son, George P Hilton, her brother in-law and Ella M. Rost,
age 29, as boarder.
The 1910Census showed
Panthea as head of house with her mother, Sarah C. Haynes, 84 years of
age, the mother of six children and Hillard Brown, a 19 year old male
boarder who was a teacher in the Glendale Elementary school. I was
unable to find any further records of the family after 1910.
My appreciation to
Mrs. Myrtle Walden Poteat, 77 years of age, whose father bought the
Hilton house for their family home when she was in the first grade of
Glendale School and was able to tell this writer much of the legend of
the Hiltons and the house. Incidentally, after marrying and moving
elsewhere, she has returned to the family home (Hilton house) where she
lives today. Also to Mr. Ray Price who filled me in on what his mother,
who was born in 1911 on Hilton Hill road, had told him how she
remembered the Hilton family and place and the legends told of the
This web site has been started as a
public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and
person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary
McKinney Teaster. Contact her at:
by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See
more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.