Story furnished by Clarence
Since writing the story on
the Glendale Mill Superintendents some
time ago, I have run across
records which reminded me of two others which I knew about but had
forgotten. Both were before my time but I am well acquainted with some
of the children of both families.
Mr. John E. Shea
Records show that John E.
Shea started as Superintendent of the Glendale
article appearing in the State Paper November 4, 1895, stated that John
E. Shea was Superintendent of D.E. Converse Company Mills at Glendale,
Clifton No. 1 and Clifton No. 3. He took the Superintendent’s job at
Clifton No. 1 when it went into production in 1881 while remaining at
Glendale Mills. Silas Smith was serving as Assistant Superintendent of
the Glendale Mills at the time. Construction of Clifton Mill No. 3
began in 1895 with John Shea having been named Superintendent. First
known as the Liondale Mill, production began in 1896. It was at this
time that John left his position at the Glendale Mill and Silas G.
Smith, who had been serving as Spinning Room Overseer and Assistant
Superintendent, was promoted to Superintendent of the Glendale
The Liondale plant was built
down on the banks of the Pacolet River from which it got energy. During
the flood of 1903, about half or more
of the mill was washed away along
with many homes and the loss of many lives. The mill was immediately
rebuilt upon the hill above the water way, where the building stands
today and the village and mill was named, “Converse Mill” after its
founder, Dexter E. Converse. John’s
obituary stated that he had been
retired about 18 years, having served as Superintendent of the mills
some 40 years.
According to his obituary
published in the Spartanburg Herald Saturday
1933, he was the son of the late Daniel and Katherine Shea, natives of
County Kerry, Ireland. The 1900 Federal census listed him at 41 years
of age, having been born in New Hampshire in February, 1859. He had
been married 12 years to Mary Taylor Shea, 29 years of age. She was
born in England in June of 1870. They were the parents of three
children; George A., born in September of 1890 in New Hampshire, E.
Sara, born in October of 1897 in South Carolina and one unnamed child
had died. They were registered in the Spartanburg Township. The 1920
census shows John along with his wife, son George and daughter in-law,
Carrie Lou along with Mrs. Sara M. Taylor, 79, mother in-law, living in
the Spartanburg District. John was listed as Superintendent of the
Cotton Mills in both instances.
John, who was widely
known in Spartanburg County, was considered a respectable, honest and
most capable business man. Deed records show that he bought,owned and
sold considerable real-estate in the county. When the new Glendale
Baptist Church building was built in 1910, Mr. Shea donated a fine
pulpit furniture set consisting of a pulpit, two high back, leather
padded chairs and a communion table. Some pieces are being used in the
church today.(2011) When the 1910 building was replaced in 1958, John’s
son George Shea, made a substantial donation to the building fund. The
large Shea farm was located about 3 miles north of our home in the Zion
Hill area. Knowing one another all their lives, George and my father
were good friends and George would stop by our house occasionally for a
short chat with dad on his way home.
The obituary stated that John
E. Shea had died early Friday morning September 15, 1933 in a
Greenville hospital following three weeks of illness. At the time of
John’s death, his home was located at 242 Mills Avenue, Spartanburg, S.
C. I have no records indicating that the Shea family ever lived at
Glendale. Funeral services were held on Sunday September 17, 1933 in
the chapel of the Floyd Mortuary on North Church Street in Spartanburg.
The Rev. A. R. Mitchell and Dr. Henry Wade DuBose, officiated.
Interment followed in the Oakwood Cemetery in Spartanburg. Active
pallbearers were; Charles Lindsey, Marshall Stone, Jervy DuPre, Arthur
Tinsley, Ernest Stallworth, Guy Vaughan, R.F. Bagwell and Mack
Fine.(this writer’s first cousin) Mr. Shea was survived by his wife,
Mrs. Mary Taylor Shea; a son, George A. Shea; a granddaughter, Sara Ann
Shea and a sister, Mrs. Thomas F. Mulvanity of Washington, D. C.
The obituary of Mrs. Mary
Taylor Shea published in the Spartanburg
Herald on Tuesday October 14,
1941, stated that she had died at about 5:40 Monday morning October 13,
1941 in her home at 242 Mills Avenue. She was 72 years of age, the
widow of John Shea and a native of Rochester, England. She had been a
resident of Spartanburg 53 years.
Funeral services were held at
the Church of Advent, Tuesday October 14, 1941. Dr. W.H. K. Pendleton
and the Rev. W. S. Lea officiated. Active pallbearers were; A.E.
Tinsley, Jervy D. DuPre, I. B. Magness, Guy Vaughan Sr., Harold Murph,
Charles M. Lindsey, Ernest Stallworth and Rubin W. Porter. Place of
interment was not given. Obviously, she was buried alongside of her
husband in Oakwood Cemetery. Survivors were; son, George A. Shea;
granddaughter, Sara Anne Shea; one brother, A. N. Taylor of Montclair,
N. J. and one sister, Mrs. Carl B. Carnes of Edmonton, Canada.
Mr. Silas Gaines Smith Sr.
The obituary of Silas G.
Smith published in the Spartanburg
Herald on January 29, 1929, stated
that he was born and lived in Greenville County near Fork Shoals,
before coming to Glendale in the early 1890s. A Family Bible record
shows that he was born September 22, 1852. The 1860 Census of
Greenville County, Fork Shoals Division, shows Benjamin Smith, 28 years
old and Rosanna Smith, 26 years old, to be the parents of four
children; Silas 8, Frances 6, Lucinda 4 and Ann, 4 months old.
Silas married Miss
Margaret Williams, born October 12, 1854, in Fork Shoals, S. C.
Margaret was the daughter of Sam and Mary Lane Williams of Abbeville,
S. C. They became the parents of thirteen children. The following
names, birth, marriages and death were copied from the family Bible.
Ida, born August 23, 1874, married E. F. Brown.
Mack J., born March 14, 1875, married Ellen Morris.
Ben W., born August 16, 1877, married Jonnie Taylor.
Sidney, born January 20, 1879, married Mollie LeMaster.
Anna, born October 5, 1880, married K. D. Butler.
Silas W. born April 4, 1882, married Willie Thomas.
James P., born August 21, 1883, married Elma Coggins.
Infant, born and died March 18, 1885.
Maggie May, born May 3, 1887, died September 9, 1888.
Harry, born February 22, 1889, married Callie McCombs. Essie, born June
25, 1891. Wilton, born October 21, 1893, married Josephine Fernandos.
Luther, born September 18, 1895, married Connie Thackson.
According to his obituary,
Silas had worked in the Mills at Enoree and Clifton, S. C. before
coming to Glendale. The Fiber & Fabric, of Boston, Mass., a record
of Americas Textile Mills, stated in its May 25, 1895 edition that
Silas came to Glendale as Overseer of the spinning department in the
D.E. Converse Co, Mills and had been promoted to Assistant
Superintendent, serving under John E. Shea who was Superintendent of
the Glendale plant along with the Clifton plants #1 and #3, a division
of D.E. Converse Co of Glendale. Silas was promoted to Superintendent
shortly after John Shea was moved to the Clifton plants only. Silas
held that position for more than twenty years.
The 1880 Federal census
showed Silas G. 27, his wife Margaret 25, Ida 5, Mack 4, Benjamin 2 and
Sidney living in Greenville County, Oakland division. Silas was listed
as a farmer. Unfortunately the 1890 Census was not available but the
1900 Glendale census showed Silas G. and his family living in Glendale
where he had already been promoted to Superintendent of the mill. Three
of his children also worked in the mill; Silas W. was a spinner, James
P. worked on the speeder and Harry C. was a doffer. Benjamin was listed
as a farmer. The 1910 census listed Silas G. as Mill Superintendent,
James was working on the stripper, Wilton was a weaver and Harry had
become a machinist. Rev. W. Henry Polk, Pastor of the Glendale
Methodist Church where Silas and his family were members, was
in their home.
The obituary of
Margaret Williams Smith published in the Spartanburg Herald on March
12, 1918, stated that she died at about 6;45 P.M. March 11, 1918 at the
age of 64, following several weeks of illness. The article stated that
“she lived on the car line at Glendale and
was well known in the city
and county where her many friends will learn of her death with genuine
sorrow”. She was survived by her husband and various other relatives.
Her death certificate showed that she died from Endocarditis (heart
problems) and had been under the care of Dr. W. A. Smith from August
11, 1918 until March 11, 1919.
Apparently the Smiths lived
in the Twitchell house while in Glendale. Margaret’s obituary stated
that she lived on the “car-line”. Only two
Overseer houses were ever on
the car-line, the Biving’s mansion which Dr. James Bivings,
Founder/President of the mill built for his home while in Glendale and
the Twitchell house which Albert H.
built for his home. The Twitchell house became vacant in 1882 when he
built a new home in Spartanburg and moved there. Since then, it has
been used as the residence of the Spinning room overseer, the position
Silas held when first employed at Glendale. According to the records
which I have, the first Superintendent to live in the Biving’s house
was R. F. Bagwell, in about 1923.
It appears that Silas
resigned from Glendale Mills shortly after his wife’s death. According
to the Deeds found in The Spartanburg Register of Deeds office, Silas
G. Smith made the following land purchases/sales in the Ben Avon area
of Spartanburg County, Spartanburg, S. C. Deed Book 6-D page 788, dated
October 11, 1919, shows Silas paid J.Y. Goodlett sixty seven hundred
dollars ($6700.00) for 4.57 acres of land in the Ben Avon area. The
East Spartanburg/Ben Avon census taken January 20-21, 1920, shows Silas
and his daughter Essie with her child, living in Ben Avon. Silas was
listed as a farmer.
Deed Book 6-S page 105, dated
December 13, 1922, shows Silas sold the 4.57 acre plot purchased from
J.Y. Goodlett to J. A. Downey for seven thousand dollars.
Deed Book 6-0 page 537, dated
January 1, 1923, shows Silas G. Smith purchased from G.T. Brown lots 55
& 56 in the Ben Avon Development area for the amount of thirty one
hundred dollars. ($3100.00) .
Deed Book 6-S page 391, dated
April 18, 1923, shows Silas G. Smith having purchased from Virginia
Morris Magness, Trustee and I.B. Magness, lots 9,18,27,36 in the Ben
Avon Development area for the amount of four hundred and fifty dollars.
($450.00) These lots were in a row and faced the Spartanburg/Glendale
Trolley line and highway. The Ben Avon Methodist Church stands on part
of that land today.
Deed Book 7-P page 350,
dated October 13, 1927, shows that Silas G. Smith, in love and
affection for his son, deeded lots 9,18,27,36,55 and 56 as shown on the
Ben Avon Development Plat drawn by H. L. Kennedy and recorded in Plat
book 3, pages 11 & 12, to his son, B. W. Smith.
Silas G. Smith Sr. died at
his home in Ben Avon at the age of 76 on January 27, 1929, from
Apoplexy. (Stroke or hemorrhage) Doctor
William A. Smith, a Glendale
Physician was his attending Physician. Funeral services were held
his home on January 28, 1929. Officiating Ministers were, Rev. C. O.
Allen, Pastor of the Ben Avon Methodist Church, Rev. J.W. Shell and the
Rev. W. H. Polk who had boarded with the Smith family while at
Glendale. Interment followed alongside of his wife in the upper Glendale Cemetery.
Active pallbearers were the
following sons; S.W. Smith, J.P. Smith, B. W. Smith, L.B. Smith, H.C.
Smith and M. L. Smith.
Honorary pallbearers were; J.E. Shea, W.J. Woodruff, George Begg, W. M.
Floyd, S.J. DuPre, J.F. Gignilliat, Charles Holland, A.T. Sloan, W.G.
Jackson, W.V. LeMaster, G. W. McCombs,(this writers Grandfather) R. F.
Bagwell, J. T. Varner (this writers uncle) D. W. Huff, Dr. W.A. Smith,
E.C. Pettit, E. M. Patterson, H.C. Coggins, H. M. Kirby, Landrum Thomas
and A. M. Gault.
Mr. Smith was survived by the
following sons and daughters; B.W. and Essie Smith of Ben Avon, Mrs.
K.E. Butler of Spencer, N. C., Mrs. E. F. Brown, J.P and S. W. Smith of
Clifton, S. C., Luther B. Smith of Gaffney, S. C., W.S. Smith of Tampa,
Fla. and H. C. Smith of Spartanburg;
One sister (name not listed)
and 31 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Conway Smith Sr. the
son of Silas Sr., who lived at Glendale many years, married Callie
McCombs. Born December 4, 1891, she was the daughter of George W.
Margaret McCombs, residents of Glendale. (This writer’s Grandparents)
Moving to Spartanburg with his wife and family, Harry became the
Manager of the Pierce Motor Company’s body/repair shop. They became the
parents of nine children, Harry Conway Jr, Lois, Dorothy, Margaret,
Gaines, Ruth, Laura, Gerald and Betty Smith. Harry died August 22,
1969. Callie died May 14, 1938. Both are buried on the lower side of
the upper Glendale Cemetery, a short
distance from his father and
Census and Obituary
Records, courtesy of the Spartanburg County Library.
My appreciation to Mr. Tim
Linder, great, great grandson of Silas G. Smith for supplying pictures,
copies of hand written Family Bible records, death certificates,
obituary and mortuary, funeral records regarding the Silas Smith
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:
or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See
more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.