Glendale Merchants - From the Early 1900's through 1970's

Story furnished by Clarence Crocker

(A map showing the location of most of these stores can be seen at Glendale Commercial Sites.)

Introduction

The stories of the merchants of the Glendale Community which you are about to read, are based upon my memory, plus copies of obituaries published in the Spartanburg Herald & Journal which I obtained through the Spartanburg County Library micro film dept. I knew all the merchants personally and was in most stores many times. In some few cases I have confirmed dates with living survivors. The Glendale community being made up of honest, stable residents and workers, most merchants extended weekly credit to their customers when requested. 

Other than the Glendale Mill Store, the oldest stores of the community formed a cluster in the flat at the end of the bridge on the opposite side of the river from the mill. There was a Piggler Grocery which was in business before my day which I remember my dad and others speaking about. It was located across the river from the mill. I remember being in the building in which it had operated on numerous occasions, when I was a young lad. Though some few items remained in the building, it was being converted into a dwelling. As best I can remember, the operator was Scott Piggler but I know so little about the store and the man, I simply refer to it for the record.  Clarence E. Crocker.


LeMaster’s Grocery was one of the cluster of moderate size wood frame store buildings/businesses located at the west end of the Glendale Bridge. The building and business was owned and operated by John C. LeMaster. It was stocked with a good variety of groceries along with a limited supply of fresh meats. Having a storage room adjoining the building, a good variety of feeds for animals and pets were also stocked. Limited delivery was made when requested, Mr. LeMaster operated the store for many years before his retirement in 1941 at which time the business was sold to Elbert C. Hopper. 

 John had married Ila Revels and they spent most of their lives in the Glendale community. They were the parents of three daughters; Helen, Maude and Irene LeMaster. Their home was a large two story frame house with wrap around porches, located behind the store, just across the river from Glendale Mills. They had been married 57 years at the time of John’s death. John was a member of the Glendale Ruritan Club. Both were members of the Glendale Methodist Church and were cousins of this writer.

John died on Tuesday, November 10, 1853 at the age of 77.

 Ila LeMaster died in a local rest home on Friday, April 13, 1962 at the age of 84. Her obituary listed her survivors as three daughters; Mrs. H. L.(Maude) Gault of Mobil, Ala., Mrs. DeWitt (Helen) Murph of Spartanburg, Mrs. S. H. (Irene) Brown of Greenville, S.C.; a half brother, Rufas Allen of Greenwood, S. C.; four grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the M.W. Bobo Funeral Chapel with interment following in the Glendale Cemetery alongside of her late husband.

 For further info on the LeMasters, click on Glendale Police.



LeMaster’s Grocery becomes Hopper’s Grocery; Elbert Columbus Hopper purchased LeMaster’s Grocery after the retirement of Mr. LeMaster in 1941 and operated the business for a number of years under his name. Elbert C. was a native of Spartanburg county, the son of Clayton and Mary Thompson Hopper.

“Spot” as he was known, had been a clerk in the Glendale Mill Store for a number of years prior to opening and operating his own store. He was a member of the Glendale Methodist Church, the Glendale Ruritan Club, the Glendale Men’s Club, the Glendale Masonic Lodge and treasurer of the Glendale Fire Department.

 “Spot” married Fay Thomas, the daughter of Banks Benton and Ethel Viola Thomas of Glendale. They became the parents of three children; Richard, Robert and Susan Hopper. They lived in their home on the Country Club Road in the Ben Avon area of Spartanburg County.

E.C. (Spot) Hopper died in the Spartanburg Medical Center following a brief illness on Thursday, October 26, 1972, at the age of 68. He was survived by his wife and three children; a step sister, Mrs. Hydrick Brown of Glendale and five grandchildren. His funeral was held at the Glendale Methodist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg. S. C. 

Fay Hopper died on Thursday, September 7, 1978 at the age of 72. No survivors were listed but if I remember correctly, all three of her children were living. Funeral services were held in the Glendale Methodist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg alongside her late husband.



Reaves Grocery building and business, was owned and operated by James R. Reaves Sr. This was one of the older stores at Glendale and was one of the cluster at the west end of the Glendale Bridge. The store was stocked with a good line of groceries, feed and I believe they had gas and oil. A limited delivery service was offered when requested.

James married Edna Viola Thomas, a native of Spartanburg County, the daughter of Hilliard C. and Corrie E. Lipscomb Thomas. They were the parents of three sons, Robert, Claude and James R. Reaves Jr. They lived in their nice spacious home located behind the store, just across the river from Glendale Mill, on the Emma Cudd Road. They were long time members of the Glendale Methodist Church. 

I have not been able to get any records of Mr. Reaves death and survivors.

Edna’s obituary appearing in the Spartanburg Herald & Journal Friday, Nov. 25, 1955 stated that she had died on Thursday, 24th, at the Spartanburg General Hospital at the age of 72, following six weeks of illness. She was survived by her sons; Robert H. Reaves of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., W. Claude Reaves of Glendale and James R. Reaves, Jr. of Spruce Pine, N. C. Also three sisters; Mrs. H. H. Parker of Florence, S. C., Mrs. H. B. Rainville and Mrs. E. L. Glass of Spartanburg, S. C. ; two brothers, O. G. Thomas of Charlotte, N. C. and E. H. Thomas of Greenwood, S.C. and three grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted at Floyd’s Mortuary with interment following in the West Oakwood Cemetery of Spartanburg, S. C. alongside her late husband. 




 Reaves Grocery becomes Coggins Grocery; Russell Coggins of Spartanburg operated the store for a number of years after Mr. Reaves death. Russell, along with his family, lived on the Glendale Country Club Road in the Ben Avon area. Having never lived in Glendale, I have very little information about him and I was unable to get any obituary records on him or his family. 



Dillard’s Meat Market was owned and operated by Perry Lester Dillard of Pacolet, S. C. A native of Spartanburg County, he was the son of Charles and Lizza Dillard. Perry married Belle Kirby of Pacolet, the daughter of Sam T. and Louella Puckett Kirby and they became the parents of ten children. She was a member of the Pacolet Methodist Church and the Ladies Sunday School Class.

It was one of the cluster of four stores with LeMasters and Reaves Groceries and Walt Reaves Barber shop. The customer could get most any cut of beef or pork they would want at the market. If my memory serves me correctly, Perry slaughtered most of the animals and cut the meat himself as ordered by the customer. He also had fresh fish on certain days. 

Perry died at the age of 73 on Friday, December 8, 1972, in the Spartanburg General Hospital following a long illness. His obituary stated that he was a retired farmer and grocer and was a member of the Pacolet Methodist Church. He was survived by his wife Belle Dillard; three daughters, Mrs. Wallace Hayes, Mrs. Reid McBride, Mrs. Nellene Robinson of Pacolet; five sons, Russell, Floyd, and Leon Dillard of Pacolet, Curtis Dillard of Union, S.C. and Sam Dillard of Charleston, S. C.; two sisters, Mrs. Bernice Tweed of Spartanburg, S.C. and Mrs. Ola Covill of Pacolet; two brothers, Luther Dillard of Pacolet and Leonard Dillard of Spartanburg; 21 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Pacolet Methodist Church with interment following in the Church Cemetery. 

Belle Dillard died at the age of 90, Monday, February 8, 1988 in the Spartanburg Medical Center. She was survived by; five sons, Leon, Lloyd and Russell Dillard, all of Pacolet, Curtis Dillard of Union and Sam Dillard of Charleston, S. C; three daughters, Lizzie Dillard Hayes, Nellene Dillard Robinson and Hazel Dillard McBride, all of Pacolet. Funeral services for Mrs. Dillard were held at the Pacolet Methodist Church with interment following in the Church Cemetery alongside her late husband. 



Kirby’s Groceries was owned and operated by Edwin Spurgeon Kirby. He owned the building and operated the business in the 1920s and early 30s. It was a modest size wood frame building located on the Glendale/Clifton road about one half mile from the Glendale mill, adjacent to the upper Glendale Cemetery. Considered a typical rural store, it carried a reasonable variety of groceries, a limited supply of pre-cut fresh meats and home remedy drugs. Having a large warehouse for storage, a large variety of cattle and pet foods were stocked. 

A native of Spartanburg County, Spurgeon was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J, H. Kirby of Spartanburg, S.C. He was a veteran of WW1 and an active member of the American Legion. He had married Mollie Page and they were the parents of two daughters, Nancy and Jane Kirby. Their home was across the road adjacent to the store and warehouse. Going to work in the Federal Building (believed to be a postal clerk) when it was completed in Spartanburg, Mr. Kirby sold all Glendale Property to Mr. John Taylor Varner Sr. and moved to Spartanburg. 

Spurgeon died on Wednesday, December 14, 1932, at his home. He was 45 years of age. Survivors were listed as his wife, Mollie Page Kirby; two daughters, Nancy and Jane Kirby; his father, J. H. Kirby Sr.; four brothers, R. H. Kirby of Gulfport, Miss., J. H. Kirby Jr. Leon and Estes Kirby, all of Spartanburg, Route 2; two sisters, Mrs. A. B. Newman of Woodruff, S.C. and Miss Lucy Kirby of Spartanburg; One brother, Albert L. Kirby had been killed in an automobile accident the year before. Funeral services were held at the Sloan’s Grove Baptist Church with interment following in the Zion Hill Cemetery. I could find no record of Mrs. Kirby’s family or her death. 

The first purchase this writer remembers making was in Kirby’s Grocery. I took a nickel and bought a bag full of fire-cracker bombs. Returning home to shoot the bombs, I put one under a tin can to make it sound louder. When the bomb exploded it blew the can through a glass window in our house. I don’t remember buying another fire-cracker until after I was grown and working.



Kirby’s Grocery becomes Hunter’s Grocery; Ellis Hunter, a local textile worker, rented the building from Mr. Varner and operated the grocery business under the name of “Hunter’s Grocery” for a number of years.  Ellis, a native of Madison County, N. C. was the son of John Holden and Emma Sue Edwards Hunter. He was a member of the Glendale Baptist Church and taught the Young Adult Men’s Sunday School class for a number of years. 

Ellis had married Onita Steadman and had built a nice home just below his father’s home on the Pecan Drive just about 1/2 mile above the mill. Retiring from the business due to health problems, Ellis and Onita separated and Ellis entered a nursing home in Inman, S. C. where he remained until his death.

His obituary published in the Spartanburg Herald & Journal on Thursday, Jan. 14, 1988, stated that he had died on Wednesday, Jan. 13th, in the Spartanburg Regional Hospital. He was 86 years of age. Funeral services were held in the Floyd’s Greenlawn Chapel with interment following in the Glendale Cemetery. He was survived by two brothers, John Hunter of Spartanburg and George Hunter of New Ellenton, S. C.; four sisters, Louise Ussery of Campobello, S.C., Myrtle Larson of Portland, Ore., Christine Nichols of Spartanburg and Anne Sizemore of Glendale.



Padgett’s Grocery follows Hunter’s Grocery. Milton Padgett, a native Spartan, operated the store for a short while. Milton had been operating two or three other grocery stores in surrounding areas since the early thirties and lost a lot of money during the depression by extending credit to the unemployed. He never regretted his lost, oft times saying that he was glad that he was able to help the people when they were so much in need. He was known as a kind and generous man. 

 He was married to Nora Varner Padgett, the daughter of John T. and Mary Williams Varner of Glendale. Mr. Varner was owner of the building at the time. They were members of the Saxon Methodist Church where they were very active and became the parents of one son, F. D. Padgett. 

Nora Varner Padgett died at her home on Williams Street, Saturday, October 6, 1962 following a long illness. Her obituary stated that she was survived by her husband, Milton Padgett; son, F. D. Padgett of Jacksonville, Fla.; two sisters, Mrs. Vivian Covington, Spartanburg, S.C. and Mrs. Idellas Guthrie, Old Fort, N.C.; one brother, John T. Varner Jr. of Glendale and one granddaughter.

Milton Padgett moved to Florida where his son had lived and his granddaughter was living sometime in the late 1970s. Unfortunately I have no further record except that he died somewhere about 1980.



Thomas Grocery was operated in the building for a short while by Andrew Thomas. He had worked as a clerk in the Glendale Mill store for many years. Andrew was the son of Henry Edgar and Eliza Wood Thomas and lived a stone’s throw behind the store on Pecan Drive. Andrew never married and was living with his sister in the low state at the time of his death. Unfortunately I have been unable to get any further information on Andrew.



Quinn’s Grocery; John Quinn operated the store for a short time following Andrew Thomas under the name of “Quinn’s Grocery”. John, a native of Spartanburg county, was the son of James and Frances Pruitt Quinn. He had come to Glendale from Woodruff, S. C. and had retired from Glendale Mills where he had worked for many years.

John had married Hattie Byars and they were the parents of two children, The Reverend Clyde A. Quinn and Mrs. J. T. (Sara) Varner. They had built a home at the intersection of the Glendale-Fernwood road about one mile above the mill. He was a member of the Glendale Baptist Church where he was a faithful member of the Senior Men’s Bible Class. 

Mrs. Hattie Byars Quinn died on January 14, 1969 at the age of 79 She was the daughter of Andrew and Sarah Melissa Crowe Byars and a member of the Glendale Baptist Church. Her obituary published Wednesday, January 15, 1969 stated that she had died on Tuesday at the Spartanburg General Hospital following a brief illness. Survivors were listed as; a daughter, Mrs. J. T. Varner of Glendale and a son, Rev. Clyde Quinn of Canaday, S. C. Also a brother, J. A. Byars of Glendale and a sister, Mrs. Ellhu Caldwell of Spartanburg, S.C. Funeral services were held in the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg. 

 John died in the Spartanburg General Hospital on Tuesday, January 7, 1975. Both were survived by their children and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Services were held in the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg, S. C. 



Crock’s Grocery; Renting the building from John T. Varner Jr., this writer, (Clarence E. Crocker) owned and operated the business under the name of “Crocks” Grocery” for a couple of years after leaving Glendale Mills while waiting the opening of a new plant in which I became Purchasing Agent/Materials Control Manager. The property was later sold, the store building was demolished, the warehouse was moved and remodeled to become a fellowship building for the Glendale Pentecostal Church.



Bagwell Groceries was operated by James (Jim) Bagwell in the 1930s & 40s. The building was owned by Mr. Bagwell and was located off the Glendale-Clifton road, joining Glendale Mill property just below the Glendale Baptist Church. It was a small rough lumber frame building. Having a very limited stock, the store had a very small business and was open only a few years. His home was located just to the left and slightly behind the store. He was a life long resident of the Glendale community.

 “Jim” as he was known, died suddenly at his home on Tuesday night, January 4, 1944. He was 64 years of age. His obituary stated that his funeral service was to be held at the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery. Survivors were listed as; two sisters, Mrs. Laula Thomas of Glendale and Mrs. W. B. Hammett of Spartanburg, S.C.; two nieces, Mrs. Walter Nichols and Mrs. V. A. Blackwell, both of Glendale.



Thompson Grocery was owned and operated in the 1930s and 40s, jointly by John Henry Thompson and his son, J. Calvin Thompson. Calvin, as he was known, had bought the E.E. Crocker farm and home place into which the Thompson family moved. He had built a small wood frame store building located at the corner of Glendale/Clifton and Lewis Chapel roads about one mile from Glendale Mills. 

“John” as he was called, operated the store on the daily basis. Being a small community store, it stocked only a modest line of groceries and feeds along with gas and oils. No drayage service was available. 

John retired from the business and returned to his old home place, leaving the store to be operated by his daughter in-law. John Thompson died on Friday, March 12, 1965.

Myrtle Johnson Thompson, the wife of J. Calvin operated the store after the retirement of her father in-law, John Henry, until the 1960s. 

The wood frame building had been replaced by a two story concrete block building. The second story was developed for a dwelling apartment. The building being much larger, the variety of groceries and feeds were increased. Myrtle retired in the late 60s after which the store was closed. At the time of this writing, the building had been demolished and the ground cleared.

Myrtle died November 29, 1996. To read more about the Thompsons click on the Thompson Family Story.



Sams Shoe Shop was first owned and operated by Charlie Sams who was also serving as Glendale Postmaster. The shop was located in the room joining the Post Office. After Mr. Sams death, the shop was operated by his son, F. V. Sams. After the Mill Store was closed and the property was sold to the Glendale Masonic Lodge, the shoe shop was moved into the side portion of the old store building. Farold maintained the shoe mending shop and added a section of new shoes. He also special ordered shoes from catalogs which he had when requested by his customers. The shop/store was closed due to Farold’s illness and death.

Farold Vaden Sams, a native of Grapevine, N.C., was the son of Charles and Atlas Tweed Sams. He was a member and former Deacon of the Glendale Baptist Church. He was a life member and Past Master of the Glendale Masonic Lodge. He was twice married. Unfortunately I have no records of his first marriage except her name was Nell and they had one son (John Robert Sams) born to them.

Farold’s second marriage was to Eula Mae Zimmerman. She was the daughter of Charlie Barsett and Mamie Ethel Wright Zimmerman of Cedar Springs, S. C. She was a member of the Cedar Springs Baptist Church but attended the Glendale Baptist Church regularly with her husband. She was a retired textile worker. She and Farold, had no children. They lived in their home on the Union Highway near the junction with the Whitestone road. 

Farold Sams died Wednesday, June 3, 1987 in the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center at the age of 81. Survivors were listed as; his wife, Eula Mae Sams; his son,John Robert (Bob) Sams of Greenville, S.C.; one brother, Neal Sams of Bristol Va.;one sister, Alice Sams Padgett of Savannah, Ga.; four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Funeral services were held in the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg, S.C. Eula Mae Sams died September 22, 2001 in the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. She was 89 years of age. Survivors were listed as; three sisters, Ellen Conrad of Inman, S.C., Jessie Hudson of Dallas, Tex. and Frances Turner of Duncan, S.C.; one stepson, John Robert (Bob) Sams of Greenville, S.C. Graveside services were held in the Greenlawn Memorial Garden with interment following along side her husband. 



McKinnish Grocery was owned and operated by Jeremiah Phil McKinnish and his wife Edna Cochran McKinnish. “Phil“ as he was known, was the son of Jerry and Grace Franks McKinnish.

After retiring as a textile worker from Glendale Mills, Phil and his wife purchased a parcel of land at the intersection of the Glendale/Fernwood road on which they built their home and a building in which to operate a small grocery store. He operated the store until his death at which time his wife took over the operation. The store was later converted to a small engine store in which lawn mowers, blowers, weed eaters, etc were sold and repaired. 

Phil had married Edna Cochran, a native of Swain County, N.C. and was the daughter of Harley and Una B. Cochran. She was a member of the Glendale Baptist Church and it’s Sunday School. She had worked at Glendale Mills for a number of years. They had lived on the village for many years before building their home on the outskirts of the village. Phil and Edna were the parents of three children; Betty, Bobby P, and Fred V. McKinnish. 

Phil died in the Spartanburg General Hospital on Tuesday, August 30, 1966 following a long illness. He was 58 years of age. Survivors were listed as; his wife, Edna McKinnish; sons, Fred McKinnish of Spartanburg, Bobby McKinnish of Jacksonville, Fla,; his daughter, Betty McKinnish Burrell; sisters, Mrs. Minnie Bledsoe of Charlotte, N. C, Mrs. Meg Messer of Belmont, N.C.; brother, Boyd McKinnish of Charlotte; half sisters, Mrs. Cora Martin, Spartanburg, Mrs. Belle Grant, Gastonia, N.C.; eight grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

Edna Cochran McKinnish died Friday, May 23, 1986. Survivors were listed as; daughter, Betty M. Phillips; sons, Fred V. McKinnish of Spartanburg and Bobby McKinnish of Goose Greek, S. C.; sisters, Mrs. Clydell Dehar of Goldendale, Wash., Maude Justice, Helen Mubs, and Addie Roak of Parkdale, Ore.; brothers, Clarence Cochran of Brevard, N. C., Ray Cochran of White Salmon, Wash., George and Floyd Cochran of Parkdale and Bill Cochran of Atlanta, Ga.; fourteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren. Services were held at the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following along side of her husband in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens. Edna was a very faithful Christian lady. Her children followed her example and became very active in their church. 

Following the death of Mr. and Mrs. Mckinnish, the home and store were sold and Fred McKinnish moved to the Goldmine area where he and his son opened and operated a auto repair shop

Fred McKinnish died at his home on the Goldmine Road in May of 2001 at the age of 59. He had married Julia Case the daughter of Theron L. Sr. and Neta Case of the Goldmine community. Fred and Julia were the parents of two children; Jan and Jeff McKinnish.



Banks Benton Thomas Sr., to my knowledge, never owned or operated a place of business but he was the very epitome of a successful merchant and should be recorded in the history of Glendale. For thirty one years, he served as a clerk in the D. E. Converse Company Mill Store in Glendale. I do not believe that any one would deny me in saying that he was known, loved and appreciated by all Glendale. I believe every child knew “Mr. Banks”.

He made a lasting impression on me the very first time I remember meeting him as a young lad of about six. Dad was working in the mill and my brother and I had carried lunch to him. We sat on the outside stair steps leading to the top floor of the store while dad ate his lunch. After he had finished eating, he carried us into the store where we were greeted by “Mr. Banks” as he was called. We were greeted with a warm smile, some kind words and a small piece of candy. 

“Mr. Banks” was the son of W. M. and Ann Hale Thomas, a lifelong resident of Glendale. He was a member of the Glendale Baptist Church were he served as a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher. He married Ethel Viola Thomas, the daughter of James and Martha Hames Thomas. They lived in their home on the Glendale/Whitestone highway and became the parents of a wonderful family. 

Mr Banks died at his home on Saturday August 29, 1959, at the age of 83. His obituary listed his survivors as; his wife,Mrs. Viola Thomas; six daughters, Mrs. E.G.(Ruth) Ammons and Mrs. E.C. (Faye) Hopper of Spartanburg, Mrs. Clyde (Dorthy) Martin, Mrs. B.F. (Mary) Reaves, Mrs. Lowell (Ann) Allen and Miss Hattie Thomas, all of Glendale; three sons, J. Rhett, B.B. Thomas Jr. and James W. Thomas of Spartanburg; fourteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren. 

Funeral services were held at the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg. Fellow Deacons of the Church and members of the Senior Men’s Bible Class served as Honorary escort. 

Ethel Thomas died Sunday February 7, 1965 in the Spartanburg General Hospital following a long illness. She was survived by; six daughters, Mrs. E.G. Ammons and Mrs. E. C. Hopper of Spartanburg, Mrs. B. F. Reaves, Mrs. Clyde Martin, Mrs. Lowell Allen and Miss Hattie Thomas, all of Glendale; three sons, J. Rhett, B. B. Jr. and James W. Thomas, all of Spartanburg; one brother, Edgar Thomas of Glendale; fourteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

Funeral services for Mrs. Thomas were held at the Glendale Baptist Church with interment following in the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens alongside her late husband.

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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:
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